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Ibsen's childhood home, Venstøp Farm, lies 5km (3 miles) northwest of Skien. The house is furnished with objects actually used by the Ibsen family when they lived here from 1835 to 1843. The building itself dates from the early 19th century, and the dark attic was the inspiration for the playwright's The Wild Duck. Two paintings are by Ibsen -- he had originally wanted to become an artist, but his wife ("the cat") insisted that he become a playwright. In her words, she "gave" the world a great dramatic talent but spared it a mediocre artist.