Gustav Vigeland

Man and Woman


– I never had a choice. I was a sculptor even before I was born. I have been driven and pushed by enormous forces from without. Anything else would have been of no use, tehere was no other way. I was always driven back to it.

Gustav Vigeland (1869–1943) is Norway's most famous sculptor. He spent his youth in Paris and was inspired by Auguste Rodin's work. Vigeland also studied in Germany and Italy. Here, he found impulses in early Renaissance sculptures, particularly Donatello's.

On his return to Norway, he created several sculptures on public commissions, such as the Neo-Gothic figures for the Nidaros cathedral in Trondheim and the Niels Henrik Abel memorial in Oslo. His best known for the Vigeland Installation, a whole parkland populated by sculptures and reliefs based on Gustav Vigeland's ideas in the 1920's.

Mann og kvinne, Adorasjon (Man and Woman, Adoration) has been placed at the entrance of the Ekeberg Park. Vigeland depicts the charged relationship between man and woman. Uncharacteristic of its age, the woman is the strong character in control. The man is kneeling before her and tries to keep her in his grasp. This sculpture is somewhat more lean and pronounced than most of the works commonly associated with Vigeland.

Mann og kvinne, Adorasjon (Man and Woman, Adoration), 1908.

Bronze, 160 cm.