Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943)
Gustav was born on a farm called Vigeland in Mandal, a small coastal town in the south of Norway, to a family of craftsmen and countrymen. As a youth, he was sent to Oslo where he learned to read and carve wood at a local school. However, the sudden death of his father compelled him to move back to Mandal to help his family. He returned to Oslo in 1888, this time determined to become a professional sculptor.
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.
In the following twenty years Vigeland was devoted to the project of an open exhibition of his works, which later turned into what is universally known as Vigeland Park (80 acres with 212 sculptures) in Oslo.
The most heathen thing I have seen in Europe – Evelyn Waugh