|Birth Day:||April 11, 1869|
|Death Date:||Mar 12, 1943 (age 73)|
As per our current Database, Gustav Vigeland died on Mar 12, 1943 (age 73).
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He moved to Oslo where he began learning wood carving.
He returned to Oslo in 1888, this time determined to become a professional sculptor. He came to the attention of sculptor Brynjulf Bergslien, who supported him and gave him practical training. The following year he exhibited his first work, Hagar and Ishmael. In his 20s, he adopted the new family name Vigeland, from the area he had briefly lived.
Vigeland spent the years 1891 to 1896 in several voyages abroad, including Copenhagen, Paris, Berlin and Florence. In the French capital he frequented Auguste Rodin's workshop, while in Italy he experimented with ancient and Renaissance artworks. In these years the themes that would later dominate his inspiration - death and the relationship between man and woman - first appeared. He held his first personal exhibitions in Norway in 1894 and 1896, which received notable critical praise.
Until 1902 Vigeland was engaged in the restoration of the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. The contact with Mediaeval art contributed to another frequent theme in Vigeland's art, the dragon as symbol of sin but also as a nature force, fighting against man.
Back in Oslo, he obtained from the town an abandoned studio in which to work. In 1905 Norway became independent from Sweden. Vigeland, considered the most talented Norwegian sculptor, received numerous commissions for statues and busts celebrating renowned compatriots like Henrik Ibsen and Niels Henrik Abel.
In 1906 Vigeland proposed a chalk model for a monumental fountain. Initially, the idea of the Oslo municipality was to put the fountain in Eidsvolls plass, the square in front of the Parliament of Norway. His work was generally welcomed, but the location created a dispute: completion of the work was postponed by the dispute. In the meantime Vigeland enlarged the original project, adding several sculpture groups. The high granite column was added to the design in 1919.
In 1921 the City of Oslo decided to demolish the house where Vigeland lived and build a library. After a long dispute, Vigeland was granted a new building from the city where he could work and live; in exchange, he promised to donate to the city all his subsequent works, including sculptures, drawings, engravings and models.
Vigeland lived and worked at his studio on Nobels gate until his death in 1943. His ashes are still preserved there in the belfry of the building. According to the agreement with the City of Oslo, the building became the Vigeland Museum (Vigelandsmuseet).
Some art critics considered Vigeland's sculptures to be expressions of nazi or fascist aesthetics, and he has been compared to Arno Breker. Writing in Verdens Gang, a newspaper started by former Norwegian resistance members shortly after the German occupation of Norway ended in 1945, Pola Gauguin wrote that the Vigeland installation "reeks of Nazi mentality.” Vigeland himself was quoted in the newspaper Aftenposten during the German occupation as stating that he was "happy" to accept prominent Nazis in his studio, and that "I welcome German soldiers with their excellent discipline to walk around between my work”.
Posterity, a 2015 play by Doug Wright, imagined the interaction between Vigeland and Henrik Ibsen.
Currently, Gustav Vigeland is 153 years, 2 months and 19 days old. Gustav Vigeland will celebrate 154th birthday on a Tuesday 11th of April 2023.
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