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Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943) Helvete (i.e. Hell), 1897

Purchased in 1897

From Trondhjems Kunstforening’s 100 years jubilee book 1845-1945, published in 1955:

In 1895 – Jens Thiis had become linked to Det Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum (i.e. the city’s museum of art and crafts), and from New Year 1897 he became part of a board of directors where he, along with the chairman, became a driving force. Thiis was no doubt pleased that dr. Borthen earlier on made an agreement with Sofus Larpent, a modest and quiet-mannered art lover in the capital, who supported and took an interest in the young Vigeland. Sofus Larpent collected money which would be used to cast the huge relief «Helvede» in bronze, and on behalf of the Kunstforeningen 11 private donors had promised to contribute with the sum of 300 Norwegian Crowns. As compensation, the association was to receive a small bust. In 1896 the association got the sensitively executed child portrait which was incorporated in the Faste Galleri. The National Gallery was the intended recipient of the bronze version of «Helvede» and subequently one approached Gustav Vigeland and asked if he would consider selling his plaster version to Trondhjem. (..) Kunstforeningen received a positive answer to the request, and the board of directors went for version number 2 of the sinister possibilities of perdition. The purchase made a considerable dent in the «liquor money» of the year -- no less than  2.500 Norwegian Crowns – but it also secured one of the sculptor’s most important youthful works for the association.

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