Sweden Medieval Arts Part III

As with architecture, the main influences came from England and northern Germany, but in Gotland there were also strong influences from Russia. In many Romanesque ecclesiastical buildings in the region valuable examples of stone sculpture are preserved; moreover, throughout the country and especially in Gotland, baptismal fonts were made in local stone, decorated with narrative or symbolic reliefs as well as three-dimensional figures: a good example of this kind of baptismal font is that of Ringsted, in Denmark (v.), produced in Gotland and then exported.

Almost nothing is known of the pictorial decoration of the Romanesque cathedrals of Sweden, but in the rural churches of the same period there were monumental wooden crucifixes placed to decorate the triumphal arch and were common carved or painted images on the altars that flanked the triumphal arch itself and which were dedicated to individual saints, usually to the Virgin or to a holy bishop. Numerous Romanesque sculptures from these altars have been preserved and also in this kind of artifacts the whole range of styles can be observed, from an evolved international style to popular art.

Elegant and characterized by an evolved style is the gilded Madonna from Viklau in Gotland, while the expressive Madonna from Mosjö is typically Nordic, both preserved in Stockholm (Statens historiska mus.), Where an antebellum made up of slabs has also been placed. of gilded copper, coming from the main altar of the destroyed church of Broddetorp, near Skara: it is an exquisite example of metalworking and perhaps originally belonged to the Romanesque cathedral of Skara. correspondence of the apse, in the choir and on the western wall of the triumphal arch, was entrusted to foreign artists. Today only fragments of these paintings are preserved, but the two frescoes present on the arch placed between the longitudinal body and the bell tower of the church of Garde, in Gotland. They denounce a Byzantine style and well exemplify the strong Russian-Byzantine influence of the art of the century. 12th in Gotland. French and English influences reveal the high-quality stone carvings of the cathedrals of Linköping and Uppsala, and in Gotland, foreign-made stone carving found numerous local followers.

According to Shoefrantics, in many churches (including wooden ones) the Gothic wall painting reached a high artistic level, clearly attested by the paintings of the small wooden church of Södra Raada. internal walls of buildings: an early example of this process is the church of Ängsö, which presents refined paintings dating back to the fourth decade of the fourteenth century. The great flowering of this kind of painting, however, is located in the century. 15 ° and, although still belonging to medieval times, these paintings no longer have Gothic characters. 13th and 14th the French and English Gothic style also permeated the production of painted wooden sculptures, crucifixes and depictions of saints. Numerous sculptures of the Virgin were created in this period, with fully Gothic characters, for new altars, while as regards the sculpture of the side altars the most common motif for the male side became s. Olav of Norway, sometimes replaced by the figure of St. Erico, while only in a single case are the two sovereigns depicted next to each other (altar from Länna; Stockholm, Statens historiska mus.). Among the wooden sculptures we must also remember the statues in the round of Sweden Brigida, represented in the act of reading or writing a book. A sculpture was created in Vadstena immediately after the canonization of the saint (1391) and is influenced by the Italian sculpture of the late thirteenth century: Brigida is portrayed as an elderly woman with a book in her lap. Another sculpture in Vadstena (known as Sweden Brigida in ecstasy) dates back to c. 1430, is made in the style of the International Gothic and shows the saint at a much younger age in the act of listening to a heavenly voice and writing this who listens. 14 ° many high altars were provided with painted wooden dossals, but at the end of the century the dossal was replaced by a triptych, which had a central body completely occupied by painted and gilded statues and two wings or doors that could be closed. The altar was closed on the occasion of Lent, a period in which only the saints painted on the outer side of the wings remained visible.

Sweden Medieval Arts 3