Emanuel Vigeland's Museum at Slemdal is one of Oslo's best kept secrets.
The museum's main attraction is a dark, barrel-vaulted room, completely
covered with fresco paintings. The 800 sq.m.
fresco Vita depicts human life from conception till death, in dramatic
and often explicitly erotic scenes. Large groups of bronze figures reiterate
the dedication to the mystery of procreation. Entering the museum is a
unique experience. The impression of the dimly lit frescoes with multitudes
of naked figures is reinforced by the unusual and overwhelming acoustics
of the room.
Emanuel Vigeland (1875-1948) erected the building in 1926, intended as a future museum for his sculptures
and paintings. He eventually decided that the museum should also serve
as a mausoleum. All the windows were closed and his ashes were to rest
in an urn above the entrance door. Influenced by Italian prototypes, he
named his building Tomba Emmanuelle.
The museum is a private foundation and was opened to the public on 8. December 1959. The museum receives funding from Oslo Kommune, Kulturetaten and Norsk Kulturråd.