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De medeltida djurfigurernas idévärld: med kyrkomålaren Johannes Rosenrods exemplifiering
Gotland University, School of the Humanities and Social Science.
2013 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In the medieval ruling catholic time the church walls was swarmed with programs of pictures with religious motives there the animal figures rich symbolics was significant first and foremost for the illiterate. Principally the inspiration comes from the antiquitys pagan world of fables and bestiary Christian world of symbols with the bible as the essential source. The essay describes six of the most common animal symbols who occur; dragon, the sneak in the Paradise, mouth of hell, lion, the fox as a preacher and the devil.

To attain to a discussion about why just animals are used as symbols for human characteristics in the medieval church art instead for human beings as it's actually be about, I have studied bestiary and other literature about medieval churchpainting to get an understanding about the history of ideas about the thoughts of the time and about symbolics of animals, worth and how the Christianity have had an influence on the pictures.

I have used Johannes Rosenrods church pictures from Tensta church in Uppland from 1437 as an exemplification but also mentioned other unknown painters who used similar animal codes and motives.

It's plausible that the purpose of the animal figures was both religious and political, which was used by both the spiritual and the worldly authority so they could keep their dominance over the peasant. The figures was simple to read and remember and they made a deep impression on the people together with the sermon. The churchgoer get so to speak a sound- and image experience, a medieval reality who impress their world of ideas.

When it's about the artistic formation of religious expression and characteristics it was undoubtedly a great advantage for the artists to use an animal code like a schemata. The medieval unchangeable animal symboles was ready to be used for anyone who wished.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 35 p.
Keyword [en]
animal figures, bestiary, Christianity, imitatio, Johannes Rosenrod, morality, programs of pictures, symbolism, the Middle Ages
Keyword [sv]
bestiarier, bildprogram, djurfigurer, imitatio, Johannes Rosenrod, medeltiden, moraliteter, katolicism, symbolik
National Category
Art History
URN: urn:nbn:se:hgo:diva-1917OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hgo-1917DiVA: diva2:629072
Subject / course
Art History
Available from: 2013-06-17 Created: 2013-06-16 Last updated: 2013-07-01Bibliographically approved

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