The Swedish Madonnas: A Comparative Study of Wooden Sculptures of the Virgin and Child between 1250 and 1350
thesisposted on 20.12.2012, 12:58 by Alexandra Fried
This thesis provides a new overview of the wooden, sculpted image of the Madonna and Child in thirteenth - and early fourteenth - century Sweden. It comprises five parts: a socio-political and economic contextualisation of the images; a critique of the existing literature in the form of an analytical bibliography; a detailed evaluation of the sculptures; a catalogue of selected material; and a bibliography. In Chapter one, the historical examination discusses the Scandinavian context between 1250 and 1350. Scandinavia was then a thriving area, both economically and culturally, and was far less isolated and inward looking than art-historical analyses have hitherto assumed. However, Scandinavia was not a stable region in the period; borders were constantly revised as a result of political and military changes. Trade links also changed and brought with them different influences. Building on the works of Aron Andersson, Andreas Lindblom, C.R af Ugglas, Rune Norberg, Peter Tångeberg, Lena Liepe, Carina Jacobsson and Lennart Karlsson, the bibliographical critique in chapter two will analyse earlier texts that have discussed the sculptures which are the subject of this thesis. The third chapter organizes the sculptures into two main groups, and draws comparisons with international examples. It comprises a visual analysis of Swedish and international comparative material on a scale which has not been attempted before. The fourth chapter is a comprehensive catalogue of the 144 Madonnas dealt with in the text, sorted by region of origin.