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Carl Fredrik Reutersward, 1934–2016, Born Sweden

Non-Violence, 1985

"Non-Violence" is a striking bronze sculpture by the Swedish-born artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd. It represents a gigantic Colt Python .357 Magnum handgun, its barrel knotted and pointing skywards. The work was inspired by the December 1980 murder of singer-songwriter John Lennon, who was also, famously, a peace campaigner, and a good friend of the Swedish artist.

Initially, "Non-Violence" was installed at the Strawberry Fields memorial in Central Park, across the street from the home that Lennon shared with Yoko Ono. In 1988, it was acquired and donated by the government of Luxembourg to the United Nations headquarters in New York, outside which it now stands. There are more than a dozen other versions on display in public places around the world, including outside the Federal Chancellery in Berlin.

The sculpture is now widely referred to as the "knotted gun." At Donum, it is installed in front of the remains of the historic 19th-century stagecoach stop, evoking the contrast between the myth of the Wild West and the peaceful vineyards of today.


Until his death from pneumonia, age 81, in May 2016, Reuterswärd was one of Sweden's most famous artists, as well as a respected author. He studied with Fernand Léger in Paris 1951 and was a professor of painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm between 1965 and 1969. In 1986 he was awarded the Prince Eugen Medal for painting.