From Sketch to Stone: The Creations of Gustav Vigeland

The Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo’s Frogner neighborhood is definitely a must-see attraction, home to Gustav Vigeland’s unique creations. It’s the world’s largest sculpture park made by one artist and showcas“es 212 bronze, granite, and cast-iron statues designed by Vigeland himself. The park also features two iconic centerpieces: the Fountain and the Monolith.

Initially, these masterpieces were intended to be placed in downtown Oslo, but as Vigeland’s fame grew and more statues were created, the city decided to keep them all together near the artist’s studio in an open parkland area. This led to the creation of the Vigeland Sculpture Park.

The sculptures throughout the park symbolize various aspects of human life. The Fountain, for example, has 20 statues representing different stages of human life from toddler to old age. The Monolith consists of 121 intertwined human figures reaching towards the heavens. Other notable sculptures include the Wheel of Life, a sundial symbolizing eternity.

Some of these images may shock visitors due to their irreverent nature, such as the statue of a man throwing a woman over his head or another depicting a man fighting with four babies (known as “Man Chasing Four Geniuses”). Locals say that the statue represents either evil spirits or the burdens and responsibilities of fatherhood.

One popular superstition at the park is touching Sinnataggen, an angry baby statue, which supposedly brings good luck. However, this has caused damage to the bronze statue as excessive touching prevents natural oxidation. Local experts worry that this may affect the statue long-term and advise against touching it.

The Vigeland Museum

Besides the park itself, there’s also a museum just outside it that showcases Vigeland’s complete work collection, including plaster originals of the sculptures in the park and other creations. The museum is located in the former living space of Gustav Vigeland and provides insights into his life.

It took Gustav Vigeland twenty years to create all 212 sculptures and design the park layout, with the project completed after his death. Despite this, his legacy lives on as millions visit the free-to-enter, year-round open park annually.

Featured Image by Campervan Norway 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *