Denmark Medieval Sculpture and Painting

Denmark Medieval Sculpture and Painting


The most interesting cases of sculpture in Denmark consist of baptismal fonts, documented by numerous examples. In Scania, for example. in Löderup and Tryde, some of them of monumental dimensions are preserved, adorned with complex theological representations among which, as in other examples of Jutland, the lion motif is extremely widespread, also present in the decoration of the portals. Scania is affected by the model of the Lund cathedral, while in Jutland three column groups can be identified, influenced by the cathedrals of Ribe, Viborg and Schleswig. The most important examples of Danish Romanesque sculpture are constituted by the nine antependia in gilded bronze, two of which preserved in the churches of Stadil and Sahl (Jutland), one in Lyngsjö (Scania), another in Nuremberg (Germanisches Nationalmus.) and the other five in Copenhagen (Nationalmus.). The dating of these works oscillates between 1140 ca. (altar of Lisbjerg; Copenhagen, Nationalmus.) and the first decades of the 13th century (altar of the church of Stadil). Of the same period is a series of crucifixes, such as eg. those of Aaby and Tirstrup, of the century. 12 ° (Copenhagen, Nationalmus.), Which present the particular iconography of the crowned Christ. The imposing crucifix (1225) of the choir of the Roskilde cathedral (preserved in a fragmentary state in Copenhagen, Nationalmus.), Which was especially schooling in the eastern Danish area, has a strong French inspiration; an excellent example is the large ivory crucifix from Herlufsholm Abbey, probably produced in Roskilde. use of brick, architectural decoration disappeared and for the rest of the Middle Ages the production of stone sculptures was rather limited. The major examples of Gothic sculpture are from the fourteenth century. In the church of the Cistercian complex of Sorö are preserved the funerary monuments of the Danish royals, including the sarcophagi of Christopher II (died in 1332), of Queen Eufemia (died in 1331) and of his son Valdemaro Atterdag (died in 1375), the decoration of which however has practically disappeared; in the cathedral of Roskilde there is the funerary monument of his daughter, Queen Margaret (d. 1412), which has alabaster decorations. The decoration of the choir stalls of Lund Cathedral, where Stories from the Old Testament, Prophets and Months are also depicted in the fourteenth century.


The oldest panel paintings are represented by figures of saints in trilobate frames that decorated the altarpiece of the monastery of Lögum, from c. 1325. (Copenhagen, Nationalmus.). Among the works of the late Gothic period, the altarpiece of the church of Nöddebo (Sjaelland), depicting a Crucifixion with the patrons, and another, much restored, coming from the Carmelite convent of Helsingör (Copenhagen, Nationalmus.), Where it is represented the Last Judgment together with the two reigning patrons, Christian II and Elizabeth. Of the murals – in addition to the paintings preserved in the churches of the Jutland region, from the first half of the century. 12th, such as those of Örreslev, Tamdrup and Ferring – the extensive decoration of the choir of the church of Raasted (Jutland), which constitutes the the most complete and important example of Scandinavian Romanesque painting, where the cycles of the Infancy and the Passion of Christ are depicted and, on the triumphal arch, the Traditio legis and together with the apostles, the Virgin and St. Michael slaying the dragon. Some characters, which denounce the presence of primitive elements of Gothic painting, suggest a dating towards the end of the 12th century for this cycle. The decoration of the church of the royal foundation of Vä (Scania) dates back a few decades earlier (c. 1170), which presents Christ in majesty in the apse basin surrounded by the symbols of the four evangelists and, in the barrel vault of the choir, twenty-four medallions inside which are represented the celestial choirs singing the Te Deum. The particular quality level and the commissioning of the church, linked to Valdemaro I.

Denmark Painting