Henrik Johan Ibsen(; 20 March 1828 – 23 May 1906) was a major 19th-century Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet. He is often referred to as "the father of realism" and is one of the founders of Modernism in the theatre. His major works include Brand, Peer Gynt, An Enemy of the People, Emperor and Galilean, A Doll's House, Hedda Gabler, Ghosts, The Wild Duck, Rosmersholm, and The Master Builder.
The Wild Duck (1884) is by many considered Ibsen's finest work, and it is certainly the most complex. Ibsen displays masterful use of irony: despite his dogmatic insistence on truth, Gregers never says what he thinks but only insinuates, and is never understood until the play reaches its climax. Late in his career, Ibsen turned to a more introspective drama that had much less to do with denunciations of society's moral values. In such later plays as Hedda Gabler (1890) and The Master Builder (1892), Ibsen explored psychological conflicts that transcended a simple rejection of current conventions.Ibsen had completely rewritten the rules of drama with a realism which was to be adopted by Chekhov and others and which we see in the theater to this day. From Ibsen forward, challenging assumptions and directly speaking about issues has been considered one of the factors that makes a play art rather than entertainment. He had a profound influence on the young James Joyce who venerates him in his early autobiographical novel "Stephen Hero". Ibsen returned to Norway in 1891, but it was in many ways not the Norway he had left. Indeed, he had played a major role in the changes that had happened across society.On 23 May 1906, Ibsen died in his home at Arbins gade 1 in Christiania after a series of strokes in March 1900. On 23 May 1906, he passed away. Ibsen was buried in Vår Frelsers gravlund.
The 100th anniversary of Ibsen's death in 2006 was commemorated with an "Ibsen year" in Norway and other countries.
On 23 May 2006, The Ibsen Museum (Oslo) reopened to the public the house where Ibsen had spent his last eleven years, completely restored with the original interior, colors, and decor. From his marriage with Suzannah Thoresen, Ibsen had one son, lawyer and government minister Sigurd Ibsen. Sigurd Ibsen married Bergljot Bjørnson, the daughter of Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson. Their only son was Tancred Ibsen, who became a film director and who was married to Lillebil Ibsen. Their only child was diplomat Tancred Ibsen, Jr. Sigurd Ibsen's daughter, Irene Ibsen, married Josias Bille, a member of the Danish ancient noble Bille family. Their son was Danish actor Joen Bille.