During his life, Gustav Vigeland modelled about 100 portrait busts, the earliest in 1892, and the last in 1941. His most productive period as a portrayer was the years 1901-1905 when he modelled all together 27 busts, ten of them in 1903. The portraits of Henrik Ibsen (1903), Knut Hamsun (1903) and King Oscar II (1903) are among these.
In the same period Vigeland made several of his monuments. Around the turn of the century most of the outdoor sculptures in the capital were made by his senior colleagues, such as Brynjulf Bergslien's Karl Johan (1875) in front of the Royal Palace and Carl Ludvig Jacobsen's Christian IV (1880) at Stortorget. Vigeland differed from their naturalism by emphasising the individuality and inner life of the persons he portrayed. Among Vigeland's most famous monuments from this period are Camilla Collett (1906) and Niels Henrik Abel (1905) in the park surrounding the Royal Palace, and Henrik Wergeland (1907) in Kristiansand.
Vigeland made monuments also later in life, among others the monuments to Christian Michelsen (1936) in Bergen, Peder Claussøn Friis (1937) in Sør-Audnedal, and Snorre Sturlason (1938) in Iceland and in Bergen. In these later works Vigeland has concentrated upon the formal aspect, and the content seems to have been of less importance.