Did you know Oslo is full of art?
I wouldn’t have expected Oslo is so much full of art. Even the Oslo Central Station welcomes you with art. Take a look at the real story behind the tiger statue outside the station. Back in the days, when Oslo, or Christiania as it was called back then, went under the name "tiggerstaden" (city of beggars) by Danes and people from the more affluent western parts of the country due to the city's quite palpable poverty. The transition from "tigger" (beggar) to "tiger" could probably be attributed to some part to the intricacies of Danish pronunciation, or a poem describing a fight between a horse and a tiger; the tiger representing the dangerous city and the horse the safe countryside. Obviously the good people of Oslo preferred to hear "Tiger" rather than "Beggar and hence the slightly surreal nickname Tiger Town. Elena Engelsen’s bronze statue was for the city’s 1000-year anniversary in 2000.
Who would have thought Oslo’s ugly town hall (from outside) would have amazing interiors? As ugly as it may seem from outside, the interior of Rådhuset is worth a visit, and yet my friends, it's free! Remember, this is one of the most expensive cities in the world. So, take this chance. Home to city council, the city's administration and various other municipal organisations, City Hall also houses Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.
Artist Henrik Sørensens painted the murals titled "Administration and Festivity", depicting scenes from Norwegian history and legends.
Alf Rolfsen’s “Occupation Frieze” pictures Germans’ five-year occupation of Norway between 1940-1945. This fresco of him portrays not only the legend of St. Hallvard, but also modern Oslo arising out of the mists of history.
Reidar Aulie’s painting illustrates aggressive labor movement and struggle for women’s rights. Norway was among the first European country to grant full women’s suffrage in 1913.
My personal favourite comes from Per Krogh. It took him about ten years to complete the walls and ceiling of the East Gallery. He wanted visitors to feel that they were “in the middle of the picture, a part of its teeming life.” The tree-root imagery is intended to resemble the stained-glass rose windows found in cathedrals.
Mural showing trolls and the German invaders defeated by the Norwegian bear.
Dagfin Werenskiold has 16 wooden friezes on the walls of the courtyard. The motifs are from Norse mythology on the life of gods, love, hate, war, destiny, revenge and so on.
Don’t forget to visit The Munch Room,” where Edvard Munch’s vivid painting “Life” (also called “The Tree of Life”) presides over civil marriage ceremonies today.
This is a part of the 60-meter-long, 4-meter-tall artwork painted directly onto the Peace Wall outside the Nobel Peace Center. It’s a part of the “Unknown Numbers” exhibition paying tribute to freedom of speech.
Frogner Park is home to more than 200 bronze, granite and wrought iron sculptures of the world famous Norwegian sculptor, Gustav Vigeland. The famous Angry Boy depicts a naked little boy crying and about to stamp his foot. He's so popular that he's being damaged by the touch of tourists.
Usually, you are likely to be arrested if you walk on rooftops, right? Not in this extension of Oslo Opera House, which opened in 2008. You get the total opposite of the “please don’t touch” culture we often face. The subtle variations in the structure of the marble-embellished roof is signed by Norwegian artists Kristian Blystad, Kalle Grude and Jorunn Sannes, and is truly a beautiful surface meant to be stepped on. Under your feet there are three highly differently designed scenes, a myriad of public rooms and halls to explore, and a vibrant workplace for more than 600 opera and ballet professionals.
“She lies" sculpture by Monica Bonvicini, right outside Opera House is another gem you won’t miss.
The dock side waterfront houses the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art and, in fact, the area around is full of many art works as well.
Smiley Monster & Motor Deer Sculptures at Astrup Fearnley Museum...
“Woman in red” in Tjuvholmen...
You can find Christian Krohg’s “the sick girl” , “nielsgaihede & anegaihede” , Per Krogh’s “lucy vidil”, and Nicolai Abildgaard’s “Richard III before the Battle of Bosworth” at the National Gallery.
It is also home of Edvard Munch’s incredibly famous painting the “Scream”, whereas the Munch Museum holds “Inger_in_Black_and_Violet”, “Madonna” of the very artist.
Ekebergparken is a sculpture and national heritage park with a panoramic view of the city. Below you can find work from Louise Bourgeois’ “The Couple”, Jake and dinos chapman” “Sturm und Drang”, Damien Hirst “Anatomy of an Angel”, Sean Henry “Walking Woman”.
Gunnar Sønsteby, a resistance hero who is one of the most respected figures in Norwegian history, is immortalized with his bike across Karl Johans Gate from the University of Oslo's downtown campus.
More art can be found in museums like Viking Ship Museum, Kon-Tiki Museum, Norwegian Maritime Museum, Museum of Cultural History. What do you think, doesn't Oslo deserve to be an art capital?
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