If you have been following along, this is my third post on the Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, Norway! There is just so much here to see and learn about! If you have missed the previous posts, you might want to read them and that will give you a good background to this post! Now, about these See-Through-Doors! At the entrance to this 80 acre park, designed by Gustav Vigeland over 40 years, we can see these massive entry gate doors! Nothing, in Vigeland’s work is done small, everything is on a giant scale! The Main Entrance consists of five large gates and two smaller pedestrian gates in wrought iron. Railings curve outwards on each side and are terminated by two small gatehouses. The gates were made in 1926 and exhibited in 1927 together with some details executed in iron. The original lanterns at the top were changed in the 1930’s, to reveal a new style. A Norwegian bank funded this project and Vigeland set up a smithy outside his nearby studio and employed only highly skilled workers.
There are 5 large gates, consisting of two doors each, with circular panels, within quadratic frames. The top and bottom panels have ornaments of twigs and branches in a geometric pattern, a different design on each gate! Three-dimensional lizards fill the central panel, demonstrating the remarkable skill of the smiths. In the middle gate (that I have a photo of up close and personal) you can see the lizards are intertwined with intricate wrought-iron rope work.
Even the shadows of the gate doors are huge!
The doors of the two gatehouses are in bronze, each with six small reliefs. Created in 1942, the basic shape of each relief is a circle formed by human figures and lizards, a theme first developed when Vigeland was executing sculptures for the restoration of the medieval cathedral in Trondheim, Norway. There is a constant theme through Vigeland’s work of using animal imagery to symbolize hostile or evil forces that accompany Man throughout life. One relief, appears to be a fetus completely entangled in the animal!
Let’s go inside and up to the higher levels of the park to see more of the ironwork………These doors under the stairway fascinated me, as you can read from other posts, but the doors appear to lead to nowhere! The entryways are sealed off!
Following the Fountain Path to the entrance of the Monolith Plateau, the highest point in the park, we see more doors. Eight entrances give access to the Plateau through Figural Gates in wrought iron. These doors were designed in the 1930’s and also made in the smithy. The iron bars show an outline of the human form as well as muscles, ribs, sinews and hair. The various ages are both realistic and ornamental. There are men gate/doors, women gate/doors and children gate/doors. Through this Man Gate/Door you can see all the way back to the Entry Gates of the park!
Up close and personal…………
One, of the smaller door entrances, feature one woman and one man………..
Up close and personal……..
And, another entrance to the Monolith features, women coming and going……………….
And yet another one, the children…………
And last, but not least, in the middle of Vigeland Park, there was a tiny street and a house! THIS would be my kinda place! But, I couldn’t see a door on it! And, I didn’t see a proper way to get there without having to roll down the hill!
I hope you have enjoyed seeing a few more doors in Oslo in this New Year! See you next week in another spot! Cady
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