Frognerparken (Frogner Park)

Frognerparken (Frogner Park)

Vigelandsparken (Vigeland Sculpture Park)

A fantastic display of sculptures created by Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943) within Frogner Park known as the Vigeland Installation.

“The Vigeland Park is the world’s largest sculpture park made by a single artist, and is one of Norway’s most popular tourist attractions. The park is open to visitors all year round.

The unique sculpture park is Gustav Vigeland’s lifework with more than 200 sculptures in bronze, granite and wrought iron. Vigeland was also in charge of the design and architectural layout of the park. The Vigeland Park was mainly completed between 1939 and 1949.

Most of the sculptures are placed in five units along an 850 meter long axis: The Main gate, the Bridge with the Children’s playground, the Fountain, the Monolith plateau and the Wheel of Life.” Vigeland Museum

Oslo, Norway – February 23, 2016
We were on the hunt for a specific statue, Man Chasing Four Geniuses. I was under the impression that we wouldn’t be able to miss it because in all the photos I had seen it seemed… well, it seemed… BIG. I thought maybe it would be displayed by itself in a corner somewhere, but large enough that you could see it from a main path in the park. I didn’t realize that the park has 200+ sculptures displayed, and I was mistaken by my idea of big.

We took public transportation to the Borgen metro stop, which dropped us off by Vestre Gravlund (Western Cemetery), the largest cemetery in Norway. We walked through the cemetery, approaching Frogner Park from the northwest. Technically, this means we viewed the park backwards from how the artist intended, but it was awesome nonetheless.

The sculpture park is open throughout the year, 24 hours a day. This kind of accessibility had us arriving near sunset. There was a welcomed chill in the air after spending the majority of the day in uncomfortably warm museums. The ground was crunchy icy and slick at times, making some areas of the path difficult to walk upon.

Honestly, I was happy to be viewing one of Norway’s most visited tourist attractions in the winter. In my opinion, there were too many people there the evening we visited. Sometimes making it difficult to take photos without random people… just there.

A view of the Monolith Plateau from the Wheel of Life sculpture.
One of our first views of Frogner Park.

The first sculpture we came upon was the Wheel of Life. A wreath of human bodies… naked, atop a granite pedestal. This single statue was just a small taste of what was yet to come. From the Wheel of Life sculpture, in the distance, we could see the Monolith Plateau and some Oslo city buildings dotting the horizon. We traveled down many stairs, coming across a Sundial. Carvings of the different astrological signs circled a piece of granite that held the sundial.

Just a short distance from the sundial was the Monolith Plateau. An odd display of humans in different poses interacting with other humans. I wasn’t sure at all what to make of it, especially because from what I could tell, every statue we were going to see, and had already seen were human figures… naked. It was slightly off-putting, but more intriguing than anything else. Some were odd. Yet when I did my research after our visit, somehow they made sense instead of being odd or… absurd. Viewing this park for the first time the obvious question was, what was the artist’s idea behind these various statues and poses? We spent some time checking out the confusing poses and thought we better keep moving if we were going to find the statue we came to find before the sun set for the day.

We went through some wrought iron gates taking us down more stairs and came upon a HUGE fountain. There were many tree figures all around, but in the center of this fountain stood 6 “giants” holding up a large bowl. It seemed dark, and the idea of death certainly came to mind while observing The Fountain. The path around the fountain had a mosaic labyrinth on it, but the ice covering the ground took away from what I imagine was a fantastic piece of art.

We hurried along towards The Bridge and guess what we found? Man Chasing Four Geniuses! The statue of the man kicking or fighting babies! And… it was way smaller than I ever expected. Especially after seeing all the other sculptures we had seen leading up to this point. There were naked bronze sculptures everywhere! I learned later that there are 58 bronze sculptures lining The Bridge. After finding the statue we were looking for, we spent a little time observing the other statues along The Bridge as the sun continued to set, leaving us at what was the artist’s intended beginning, the Main Gate.

The following photos I put in the order Gustav Vigeland intended his sculpture park to be seen. Also, I added links to the titles for those who may want to know more about the five units that contain the majority of Vigeland’s sculptures.

The Main Gate

The Bridge

The Fountain

Photo taken by Nathan Neal.

The Monolith

The Monolith stands over 46 feet high with 121 human figures carved into one piece of granite.

The Sundial

The Wheel of Life

Looking back,  I wish so much that I could have had more time at Frogner Park. The park is huge and a little overwhelming when daylight is fading and you’re on the hunt for a particular sculpture.

I learned that Gustav Vigeland rarely named his sculptures so viewers could interpret them anyway they chose. That being the case, the theme throughout the park seems to represent the human condition, from birth to death, and is sometimes referred to as the circle of life.

The following photos are in no particular order. Just different statues I found confusing, intriguing, or my favorite. And of course… Man Chasing Four Geniuses.

Some Sculptures at the Monolith Plateau




Photo taken by Nathan Neal.




One of the 8 wrought iron gates on the monolith plateau. You can see the Fountain in the distance.


Some Sculptures at The Fountain




Man Chasing Four Geniuses


Nathan with Man Chasing Four Geniuses. For comparison, Nathan is 6’6″.


Some Sculptures from The Bridge

Dancing Young Woman, one of my very favorites!


Young Girl Laughing, one of my favorites.




“We” are – Alicen Hutcheson, Nathan Neal, and Rich McArthur
All photos were taken by me, Alicen Hutcheson unless otherwise indicated.