Arts and Gardens

Warm humanity portrayed in bronze

A girl is standing upright, bashfully, not seeking our attention. The girl is young, her body unfinished. She does not seem to be aware that anyone is watching her.

© Ingebrigt Vik: Stående pike, 1908.
© Ingebrigt Vik: Stående pike, 1908.
Alf E. Andresen

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The right leg is drawn back a little, in relief of her weight, it’s not a proper step. That is the only movement in the sculpture. The knees are held close together, arms hanging loosely at her sides. Her face is serious, bordering on the melancholy. The lines are soft, but very realistic. The entire figure is harmonious and balanced.

Stående pike (Standing girl) was a gift to the University of Bergen from J. Mowinckel. Another copy of the bronze sculpture can be seen at the Vik Museum in Øystese, and they are both just alike the marble sculpture that Vik completed in Paris in 1909. Vik himself said of Standing girl that “I think it looks just as good in the dark bronze”.

Ingebrigt Vik (1867-1927) is considered one of the major sculptors of Norway. His sculptures depicted the nude human body gently and sensitively, with an attention to detail that gave an overall impression of harmony and tranquility. Vik is represented in the National Gallery, the sculpture park at Rottneros in Sweden and the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest, to mention a few. Vik won first prize in the competitions for monuments to Niels Henrik Abel, Camilla Collett and the Eidsvold monument, but for various reasons, only the Abel statue was realized, and it was not erected at the University of Oslo until 1963. Vik’s statue of Edvard Grieg stands in the city park in Bergen. Many of his pieces can also be found at the Ingebrigt Vik Museum in Øystese.