The (Naked) Nobel Brotherhood and Vigeland's Strange Art in Oslo
2010 05 28
By Lana Lokteff | redicecreations.com
What do the Nobel Peace Prize Medal and the Vigeland Sculpture Garden have in common? Nudity (and the same artist)!
Have you ever noticed the artwork on The Nobel Peace Prize Medal?
The reverse side of the Nobel Peace Prize medal represents
a group of three men forming a fraternal bond. From: nobelprize.org
Yes, it really does depict three naked men with their hands on each other’s shoulders. The inscription reads: Pro pace et fraternitate gentium - translated "For the peace and brotherhood of men".
The Nobel Peace Prize Medal was designed by Gustav Vigeland, a Norwegian sculptor.
Have you heard of Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, Norway? The park covers 80 acres (320,000 m2) and features 212 bronze and granite sculptures created by Gustav Vigeland, mainly completed between 1939 and 1949. He personally sculpted every figure out of clay and individual craftsmen were contracted to fabricate the pieces into what they are today.
These works of art reside along an 850 meter-long axis divided into six sections: The Main Gate, The Bridge, The Children’s Playground, The Fountain, The Monolith Plateau and the Wheel of Life.
This popular tourist site includes sculptures of a man "playing" with babies…naked, an elderly and younger man…naked, a young girl with pigtails…naked, an old man hitting a young boy…naked, a man “chasing four geniuses” which are babies….naked, a boy standing in front of a man…naked, a lizard clutching a man and a woman…naked, a swarm of babies dog piled…naked, boys fighting…naked, a standing man lifting a dead man…naked and much more…naked.
Lizard or Reptile clutching woman
Lizard or Reptile clutching man
A pile of bodies
A ball of babies
Additionally, there is a monolith (obelisk style) inside the park which depicts bodies stacked up one on top of each other…naked. This is meant to represent “man’s desire to become closer with the spiritual and divine. It portrays a feeling of togetherness as the human figures embrace one another as they are carried toward salvation.” Is that the feeling you get when you see this sculpture?
The Monolith towers 14.12 meters (46.32 ft) high and is composed of 121 human figures rising towards the sky.
The Wheel of Life “is a symbol of eternity and is here executed as a garland of women, children and men holding on to each other.” Ouch!! Despite the work on the Wheel of Life being technically challenging, Vigeland was pleased with the result and is quoted as saying “I have never been as accomplished as I am now.”
The statue of the old couple, or two old ladies, one with hand over mouth, appearing to hold back the other….naked definitely needs a quote from the artist. If this is a depiction of the cycle of life, what phase is that one exactly?!
Vigeland park is a well known picnic area, popular in the summer for sunbathing, games, and relaxation…..naked. Just kidding.
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