"Journey Through the Mind of Gustav Vigeland" Vigelandsparken Tip by tombantle
Vigelandsparken, Oslo: 138 reviews and 305 photos
Vigelandsparken is a unique opportunity to discover the artistic vision and the worldview of the artist, Gustav Vigeland, who spent most of his life planning and executing the park's design and its 227 sculptures. He specified every aspect of the journey he crafts for the visitor. While anyone may visit and wander through the park, for those interested in exploring what Vigeland's artistic intentions were, a local guide is invaluable to point out how the design of the park embodies Vigeland's view of life.
For example, the central main portals of the elaborate formal entrance gate are closed; the visitor must enter through the side subsidiary gates. Vigeland believed the paths of life were seldom straightforward and obvious; the essentials of life could only be reached through struggling through alternatives and misdirections. Similarly, the plaza surrounding the central fountain is a maze, demonstrating the twists, turns, and dead ends of life's journey.
Vigeland's bronzes illustrate the moments in life all humans share. He sculpted only nudes to make his images universal, not bound in time or class by their clothes (see more photos in my travelogue on Vigelandsparken).
The allegorical "trees" surrounding the fountain show the full circle of each human's experience from birth through play, mating, reproduction, and death when the cycle begins again.
The climax of the Vigelandsparken journey is the phallic "Struggle of Life" monolith surrounded by perhaps the most emotional of the sculptures showing the interrelationships that are the center of our humanity. Beyond the final gate is a peace monument.
Vigelandsparken is thrilling and awe-inspiring; the visitor cannot fail to be moved and provoked by Vigeland's depictions of the human experience.
Frognerparken itself is a wonderful green space to play, picnic, and peoplewatch. Vigelandsparken is free and open all the time, so it's a great place to spend time outside the hours that other attractions are open.
Address: Frognerparken entrance on Kirkiveien
Directions: Northwest of city center, Majorstuen T-Bane Station
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