Famous people who had a huge impact on Oslo

March 21, 2017 • 2 min read

Brave, gifted, talented and responsible for making Oslo somewhat what it is today. Meet three people that made Oslo and Norway famous. 

1. Edvard Munch
With the painting ‘Skriet’ (The Scream), Munch would create a painting that would keep him famous for more than 60 years after his passing. Edvard Munch was a painter and one of Modernism’s most influential artists. Over sixty years, he was active – from when he made his debut in the 1880s until he died in 1944. His experimentation skills as an artist gave him a unique position in international and Norwegian art history. The Scream has been described as “an icon of modern art, a Mona Lisa for our time”. It has been portrayed in the game The Sims, in the tv-show The Simpsons and in countless other cultures. With Skriet always being relevant, so are Norway and Munch.

2. Henrik Ibsen
He has been described as “the father of realism” and is one of the founders of Modernism in theatre. Henrik Ibsen (1828 – 1906) was a Norwegian playwright, theatre director and poet. He is considered one of the most important playwrights since Shakespeare, in particular for his later dramas, which at the time were considered scandalous. Ibsen has influenced novelists and playwrights such as Oscar Wilde, James Joyce and George Bernard Shaw. Three times he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature – 1902, 1903, and 1904. As his work lives on, he stays famous. Every year the International Ibsen Festival is held in Oslo, drawing locals and tourists to discover Ibsen’s works.

3. Henrik Wergeland
Wergeland is one of the “birth fathers” to the celebration of the 17th of May (syttende mai), but he’s primarily famous for being a Norwegian writer, playwright, historian and poet. He is often considered a leading pioneer in developing Norwegian literary heritage and modern Norwegian culture. He became a famous hero when he, together with the locals, fought at the battle of the Square in Christiania on the 17th of May, 1829. Even though Henrik Wergeland died at the young age of 37, he greatly affected literature, history, contemporary politics, social issues and much more. The celebrations on the 17th of May are the biggest ones in Oslo for the whole year and mean the world (ish) to Norwegians; they have Wergeland to thank for that.