The unmissable sculptures in Oslo’s Frogner Park
Planning a trip to Oslo? The sculptures at Frogner Park should be first on your list of must-sees. The evocative collection of giant bronze and granite figures is known as the Vigeland Sculpture Arrangement, or Vigeland Park, and they’re unlike anything else on the Scandinavian art scene!
It all started in 1924, when Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland decided to dedicate the rest of his working life to creating a free and open exhibition. The resulting collection comprises of 212 powerful works of art and is the world’s largest sculpture park attributed to just one artist. Taken together, the works tell a deep and moving story about the human condition. Most of them were completed during the turbulent decade from 1939-1949.
A dream world
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An artistic journey into the inner depths of the human soul may not sound like a walk in the park, but in this case, that’s exactly what it is. Entering the Sculpture Arrangement is like being transported to a surreal dream landscape imagined up by a troubled mind. You’ll walk past a depiction of a man in the midst of an unspeakable display of violence. You’ll see the park’s famous Angry Boy statue, a larger-than-life embodiment of the fury of an upset child. Everywhere you look, granite giants act out epic drama against the natural beauty of a Scandinavian manor house garden. Intense. You don’t get that on an average stroll, do you?
The sky’s the limit
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These powerful images will stay with you long after you’ve left the park. You won’t easily forget Monolith. Rising 46 feet out of the earth, and sitting at the park’s highest point, the sculpture resembles a totem pole constructed from entangled human bodies, their limbs locked in tight, enduring embrace as they stretch up towards the heavens. It’s all about how mankind strives to get closer to the spiritual world, leaning on each other for support in this endless, and perhaps futile, endeavor. Cut from granite based on Vigeland’s initial designs, the piece took three carvers 14 years to complete.
One of the park’s other notable design behemoths is its fountain, encircled by bronze statues depicting trees surrounded by skeletons and children, a physical manifestation of the circle of life. It’s closely related to the final sculpture on your tour, Vigeland’s Wheel of Life. Crafted from clay, this challenging piece is often considered one of the artist’s greatest achievements. It portrays a group of adults and a child coming together in a harmonious circle. As you head back to our Park Inn by Radisson Oslo Airport Gardermoen Hotel and the flight home, these mysterious figures, both violent and serene, will be your defining visual memory of the city’s artistic landscape.