38. Vigeland Sculpture Park (Vigelandsparken) in the large Frogner Park.

See Travel Report #19.

Taking the subway to the station nearest the Vigeland Sculpture Park, we approach the Frogner Park area where Vigeland is located. We first come to the large open air skating rink called Frogner Stadion. Here Keith poses with Oscar Mathisen (1888-1954), Norway's famous world champion speed skater.

Also in the Frogner stadium area is this sculpture of the very famous Norwegian figure skating champion and star Sonja Henie. Ms Henie (1912-69) took 3 gold medals in the Ladies' Singles figure skating, wining her first in 1928 when she was only 16.

Arriving at the Vigeland Sculpture park which contains nearly 200 amazing sculptures, we enter the main gate and proceed to the first collection of 58 sculptures on a granite bridge.  Our first photo was one of a man and woman inside a ring.  The Circle of Life is a reoccurring theme here.

Please forgive the obvious title, but we're both having a "bad hair day." This piece is also part of the Bridge grouping. One of the most famous sculptures on this Bridge is the angry boy ("Sinnataggen") which we presented in our Photo Album #2.

Peg wanted Keith to have his picture with this other gentleman who juggled 4 children. Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943) was fortunate to have strong  support from the city of Oslo. Consequently, he promised to leave all his works to the city.  An ample studio was provided for his use.

Here is a distant view of part of the Bridge looking back toward the entrance. All figures on the bridge are of bronze and depict variations on the theme of stages of human life. Judging by the numerous people strolling by, this is a very popular place for a summer visit.

We stepped off the Bridge and entered the rose garden. It was summer and the roses were at their peak, adding color interest to the overall scene. The Fountain lies just ahead with the monolith elevated behind it.

The Fountain was the earliest sculpture unit in the park. The tree groupings symbolize life and represent Vigeland's idealized expression of Man's relationship with nature.  The water adds meaning  as the universal symbol of fertility.

Six giants support the large bowl shaped vessel aloft and a screen of water spills down around them. The giants represent different ages of man.  Additionally, different life stages are repeated in the 60 smaller bronze friezes on the surface of the fountain's outer wall.

This photo captures a sense of the tree figures or groups. There are a total of 20, all of which share the basic shape of a wide dense top with a branch-laced tree trunk which tapers to the base.  Keith views the three which signify the later stages of age. 

Here is another corner of the tree figures. This group was the first phase of the park and apparently, at the of this exhibit, Vigeland received enthusiastic public response  Later phases and developments became more political.

This particular piece appealed to us because of its apparent disintegrating of the human form in the trunk becoming almost part of the tree itself and ultimately forming new life.  The basic recycling of nature -- or the natural order.

Keith could identify with this sculpture as it represents entering the latter stages of life and facing death and the innate drive to cling to life.   "Been there - done that," says heart attack survivor Keith.

The Monolith Plateau is reached by ascending 3 terraces to the highest point in the park. This little corner added a bit of water interest. One of the eight wrought iron gates is noticeable at the entrance to the center of the plateau.

The artist constructed the model for this column of 121 figures in the years 1924-1925. In order for his crew to carve it from a single block of stone, it took from 1929 to 1943. The crew consisted of three carvers who worked daily to complete it. It was carved at the site in a shed and weighs 180 tons.

In the center of the plateau a circular stairs rises toward the Monolith. Placed on these stairs in radiating rows are 36 groups of figures in granite again depicting the cycle of life.

Every sculpture includes at least two figures and human relationships seem more emphasized than in the other sculptural figures. Visitors enjoy posing with the  friendly and earthy forms.

The 36 figure groups on the central monolith dramatically depict life from childhood to old age, with motifs from life that everyone can relate to.

Although a skilled carver himself, Vigeland did not sculpt directly in the granite. He modeled the groups in full size and hired  professional artisans to do the laborious work of the actual carving.

Much of Vigeland's work is easy to understand, and the people of Oslo were enthusiastic from the beginning which is also easy to understand. But apparently, art critics have taken some 40 years to agree.

Keith hangs with the guys at one of the milder groupings. There is clearly an intensity in the massive figures with their basic typical (?) poses.

As we mentioned earlier, some figures were easier to identify with than others.    ...    Vigeland did not see the human form as just a bunch of Barbie dolls.

These wrought iron gates were quite intriguing. They were designed by Vigeland in the 1930's and are a fine example of the use of 2 dimensional line as a design element. Note their use in muscles, ribs, sinews and hair.

The realistic as well as the ornamental are demonstrated here with the depiction of the several representative ages of Man. Movement seems also to be a feature.

Again Keith finds a guy he can identify with -- receeding hairline and all.

One of these iron gates was being repainted. The skilled worker here has prepared for the threat of rain which could prove a major problem for her work.

As we start to leave this fascinating sculpture park we find a bench on which to rest. We look back toward the rose garden, the fountain and the monolith areas ... and Peg shows her weariness here.

Walking back north towards our subway station in this pleasant part of Oslo, we view a very colorful electric tram.

We also come across an outdoor market area with this mobile fish market. Of course we have to stop to add this to Peg's collection of fish market photos. They are always so interesting and colorful.

Also in this area near the subway station (we believe it is called Majorstuen) is this colorful fruit and vegetable stand.

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