An altarpiece is an artwork such as a painting, sculpture or relief representing a religious subject made for placing behind the altar of a Christian church. Altarpieces were one of the most important products of Christian art especially from the late Middle Ages to the era of the Counter-Reformation. Large number of altarpieces are now removed from their settings, and often their elaborate sculpted frameworks. Altarpieces seem to have begun to be used during the 11th century, the reasons and forces that led to the development of altarpieces are not generally agreed upon. The habit of placing decorated reliquaries of saints on or behind the altar, as well as the tradition of decorating the front of the altar with sculptures or textiles, an elaborate example of such an early altarpiece is the Pala dOro in Venice. The appearance and development of these first altarpieces marked an important turning point both in the history of Christian art and Christian religious practice, the autonomous image now assumed a legitimate position at the centre of Christian worship.
Painted panel altars emerged in Italy during the 13th century, in the 13th century, it is not uncommon to find frescoed or mural altarpieces in Italy, mural paintings behind the altar function as visual complements for the liturgy. These altarpieces were influenced by Byzantine art, notably icons, which reached Western Europe in greater numbers following the conquest of Constantinople in 1204. During this time, altarpieces began to be decorated with an outer. Vigoroso da Sienas altarpiece from 1291 display such an altarpiece and this treatment of the altarpiece would eventually pave the way for the emergence, in the 14th century, of the polyptych. The sculpted elements in the emerging polyptychs often took inspiration from contemporary Gothic architecture, in Italy, they were still typically executed in wood and painted, while in northern Europe altarpieces were often made of stone. The early 14th century saw the emergence, in Germany, the Netherlands, the Baltic region, by hinging the outer panels to the central panel and painting them on both sides, the motif could be regulated by opening or closing the wings.
The pictures could thus be changed depending on liturgical demands, the earliest often displayed sculptures on the inner panels, i. e. displayed when open, and paintings on the back of the wings, displayed when closed. With the advent of winged altarpieces, a shift in imagery occurred, instead of being centred on a single holy figure, altarpieces began to portray more complex narratives linked to the Christian concept of salvation. As the Middle Ages progressed, altarpieces began to be commissioned more frequently, in Northern Europe, initially Lübeck and Antwerp would develop into veritable export centres for the production of altarpieces, exporting to Scandinavia and northern France. By the 15th century, altarpieces were often commissioned not only by churches but by individuals, guilds, the 15th century saw the birth of Early Netherlandish painting in the Low Countries, henceforth panel painting would dominate altarpiece production in the area. In Germany, sculpted wooden altarpieces were instead generally preferred, while in England alabaster was used to a large extent, in England, as well as in France, stone retables enjoyed general popularity.
In Italy both stone retables and wooden polyptychs were common, with painted panels and often with complex framing in the form of architectural compositions
Gotland, Gutland in the local dialect Gutnish, is a province, county and diocese of Sweden. The province includes the islands of Fårö and Gotska Sandön to the north. The population is 57,221, of which about 23,600 live in Visby, the island of Gotland and the other areas of the province of Gotland make up less than one percent of Swedens total land area. From a military viewpoint, it occupies a location in the Baltic sea. The island is the home of the Gutes, and sites such as the Ajvide Settlement show that it has occupied since prehistory. This is consistent with the spread of peoples from the Middle East at about that time. Early on, Gotland became a center, with the town of Visby the most important Hanseatic city in the Baltic Sea. In late medieval times, the island had twenty district courts, each represented by its elected judge at the island-ting, new laws were decided at the landsting, which took other decisions regarding the island as a whole. Gutasaga contains legends of how the island was settled by Þieluar, according to some historians, it is therefore an effort not only to write down the history of Gotland, but to assert Gotlands independence from Sweden.
In 1361, Valdemar Atterdag of Denmark invaded the island, the Victual Brothers occupied the island in 1394 to set up a stronghold as a headquarters of their own in Visby. At last, Gotland became a fief of the Teutonic Knights, an invading army of Teutonic Knights conquered the island in 1398, destroying Visby and driving the Victual Brothers from Gotland. The number of Arab dirhams discovered on the island of Gotland alone is astoundingly high, in the various hoards located around the island, there are more of these silver coins than at any other site in Western Eurasia. The total sum is almost as great as the number that has been unearthed in the entire Muslim world, the Berezan Runestone, discovered in 1905 in Ukraine, was made by a Varangian trader named Grani in memory of his business partner Karl. It is assumed that they were from Gotland, the Mästermyr chest, an important artefact from the Viking Age, was found in Gotland. The authority of the landsting was successively eroded after the island was occupied by the Teutonic Order, sold to Eric of Pomerania, in late medieval times, the ting consisted of twelve representatives for the farmers, free-holders or tenants.
Since the Treaty of Brömsebro in 1645, the island has remained under Swedish rule, the Order never regained its territory, and eventually it reestablished itself in Rome as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. On 22 April 1808, during the Finnish War between Sweden and Russia, a Russian army landed on the shores of Gotland near Grötlingbo. Under command of Nikolaus Andrejevich Bodisco 1,800 Russians took the city of Visby without any combat or engagement, and occupied the island
Lutheranism is a major branch of Protestant Christianity which identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German friar, ecclesiastical reformer and theologian. Luthers efforts to reform the theology and practice of the Catholic Church launched the Protestant Reformation in the German-speaking territories of the Holy Roman Empire. Lutheranism advocates a doctrine of justification by grace alone through faith alone on the basis of Scripture alone and this is in contrast to the belief of the Catholic Church, defined at the Council of Trent, concerning authority coming from both the Scriptures and Tradition. In addition, Lutheranism accepts the teachings of the first seven ecumenical councils of the undivided Christian Church, unlike Calvinism, Lutherans retain many of the liturgical practices and sacramental teachings of the pre-Reformation Church, with a particular emphasis on the Eucharist, or Lords Supper. Lutheran theology differs from Reformed theology in Christology, the purpose of Gods Law, the grace, the concept of perseverance of the saints.
Today, Lutheranism is one of the largest denominations of Protestantism, with approximately 80 million adherents, it constitutes the third most common Protestant denomination after historically Pentecostal denominations and Anglicanism. The Lutheran World Federation, the largest communion of Lutheran churches, Other Lutheran organizations include the International Lutheran Council and the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference, as well as independent churches. The name Lutheran originated as a term used against Luther by German Scholastic theologian Dr. Johann Maier von Eck during the Leipzig Debate in July 1519. Eck and other Catholics followed the practice of naming a heresy after its leader. Martin Luther always disliked the term Lutheran, preferring the term Evangelical, which was derived from euangelion, the followers of John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, and other theologians linked to the Reformed tradition began to use that term. To distinguish the two groups, others began to refer to the two groups as Evangelical Lutheran and Evangelical Reformed.
As time passed by, the word Evangelical was dropped, Lutherans themselves began to use the term Lutheran in the middle of the 16th century, in order to distinguish themselves from other groups such as the Philippists and Calvinists. In 1597, theologians in Wittenberg defined the title Lutheran as referring to the true church, Lutheranism has its roots in the work of Martin Luther, who sought to reform the Western Church to what he considered a more biblical foundation. Lutheranism spread through all of Scandinavia during the 16th century, as the monarch of Denmark–Norway, through Baltic-German and Swedish rule, Lutheranism spread into Estonia and Latvia. Since 1520, regular Lutheran services have been held in Copenhagen, under the reign of Frederick I, Denmark-Norway remained officially Catholic. Although Frederick initially pledged to persecute Lutherans, he adopted a policy of protecting Lutheran preachers and reformers. During Fredericks reign, Lutheranism made significant inroads in Denmark, at an open meeting in Copenhagen attended by the king in 1536, the people shouted, We will stand by the holy Gospel, and do not want such bishops anymore.
Fredericks son Christian was openly Lutheran, which prevented his election to the throne upon his fathers death, following his victory in the civil war that followed, in 1537 he became Christian III and advanced the Reformation in Denmark-Norway
In architecture, an apse is a semicircular recess covered with a hemispherical vault or semi-dome, known as an Exedra. Smaller apses may be in other locations, especially shrines, an apse is a semicircular recess covered with a hemispherical vault. Commonly, the apse of a church, cathedral or basilica is the semicircular or polygonal termination to the choir or sanctuary, in relation to church architecture it is generally the name given to where the altar is placed or where the clergy are seated. An apse is occasionally found in a synagogue, e. g. Maoz Haim Synagogue, the apse is separated from the main part of the church by the transept. Smaller apses are sometimes built in other than the east end. The domed apse became a part of the church plan in the early Christian era. In the Eastern Orthodox tradition, the apse is known as diaconicon. Various ecclesiastical features of which the apse may form part are drawn here, The chancel, directly to the east beyond the choir contains the High Altar.
This area is reserved for the clergy, and was formerly called the presbytery. Hemi-cyclic choirs, first developed in the East, came to use in France in 470, famous northern French examples of chevets are in the Gothic cathedrals of Amiens and Reims. The word ambulatory refers to an aisle in the apse that passes behind the altar and choir. An ambulatory may refer to the passages that enclose a cloister in a monastery, or to other types of aisles round the edge of a church building
The nave /ˈneɪv/ is the central aisle of a basilica church, or the main body of a church between its western wall and its chancel. It is the zone of a church accessible by the laity, the nave extends from the entry — which may have a separate vestibule — to the chancel and may be flanked by lower side-aisles separated from the nave by an arcade. If the aisles are high and of a width comparable to the central nave and it provides the central approach to the high altar. The term nave is from medieval Latin navis, a ship was an early Christian symbol. The term may have suggested by the keel shape of the vaulting of a church. The earliest churches were built when builders were familiar with the form of the Roman basilica and it had a wide central area, with aisles separated by columns, and with windows near the ceiling. Old St. Peters Basilica in Rome is a church which had this form. It was built in the 4th century on the orders of Roman emperor Constantine I, the nave, the main body of the building, is the section set apart for the laity, while the chancel is reserved for the clergy.
In medieval churches the nave was separated from the chancel by the rood screen, medieval naves were divided into bays, the repetition of form giving an effect of great length, and the vertical element of the nave was emphasized. During the Renaissance, in place of dramatic effects there were more balanced proportions, longest nave in Denmark, Aarhus Cathedral,93 metres. Longest nave in England, St Albans Cathedral, St Albans,84 metres, longest nave in Ireland, St Patricks Cathedral, Dublin,91 metres. Longest nave in France, Bourges Cathedral,91 metres, including choir where a crossing would be if there were transepts, longest nave in Germany, Cologne cathedral,58 metres, including two bays between the towers. Longest nave in Italy, St Peters Basilica in Rome,91 metres, longest nave in Spain, Seville,60 metres, in five bays. Longest nave in the United States, Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York City, highest vaulted nave, Beauvais Cathedral, France,48 metres high but only one bay of the nave was actually built but choir and transepts were completed to the same height.
Highest completed nave, Rome, St. Peters, Italy,46 metres high, with architectural discussion and groundplans Cathedral architecture Cathedral diagram List of highest church naves
A baptismal font is an article of church furniture used for baptism. The fonts of many Christian denominations are for baptisms using an immersion method, the simplest of these fonts has a pedestal with a holder for a basin of water. The materials vary greatly consisting of carved and sculpted marble, many are eight-sided as a reminder of the new creation and as a connection to the practice of circumcision, which traditionally occurs on the eighth day. Some are three-sided as a reminder of the Holy Trinity, Son, in many churches of the Middle Ages and Renaissance there was a special chapel or even a separate building for housing the baptismal fonts, called a baptistery. Both fonts and baptisterys were often octagonal, saint Ambrose wrote that fonts and baptistries were octagonal because on the eighth day, by rising, Christ loosens the bondage of death and receives the dead from their graves. Saint Augustine similarly described the day as everlasting. Hallowed by the resurrection of Christ, the quantity of water is usually small.
There are some fonts where water pumps, a natural spring and this visual and audible image communicates a living waters aspect of baptism. Some church bodies use special holy water while others use water straight out of the tap to fill the font. A special silver vessel called a ewer can be used to fill the font, the mode of a baptism at a font is usually one of sprinkling, washing, or dipping in keeping with the Koine Greek verb βαπτιζω. Βαπτιζω can mean immerse, but most fonts are too small for that application, some fonts are large enough to allow the immersion of infants, however. The earliest baptismal fonts were designed for full immersion, and were often cross-shaped with steps leading down into them, often such baptismal pools were located in a separate building, called a baptistery, near the entrance of the church. As infant baptism became common, fonts became smaller. Full-immersion baptisms may take place in a tank or pool. The entire body is immersed, submerged or otherwise placed completely under the water.
This practice symbolizes the death of the old nature, as found in Romans 6, in the Eastern Orthodox Church, baptism is always by full triple immersion, even in the case of infant baptism. For this reason, Eastern baptismal fonts tend to be larger than Western, and are shaped like a large chalice. During the baptismal service, three candles will be lit on or around the font, in honor of the Holy Trinity
Endre Church is a medieval Lutheran church in Endre on the Swedish island of Gotland, in the Diocese of Visby. The presently visible church was preceded by an older, Romanesque church, of this church, only the tower, built in the 12th century and heightened in the 14th, remains. A few stone sculptures have been re-used in the church, e. g. one sculpture depicting a dragon. These are now immured in the southern façade of the church, the rest of the church dates from the 13th century and the early 14th. The building material of the church is limestone, apart from the aforementioned Romanesque sculptures, the exterior of the church is adorned with sculpted portals, both Romanesque and Gothic in style. Internally, the church is decorated with frescos made by the artist known as the Master of the Passion of Christ in the middle of the 15th century, the frescos were uncovered during a renovation in 1915. The church have several preserved stained glass panes from the Middle Ages. The altarpiece is furthermore medieval, from the late 14th century, the triumphal cross dates from circa 1300, and the baptismal font, possibly made by the artist Hegvald, is a Romanesque piece from the 12th century, richly decorated.
The church lies in a cemetery that is surrounded by a low limestone wall, media related to Endre Church at Wikimedia Commons Official site
Ala Church is a medieval Lutheran church in Ala on the Swedish island of Gotland, in the Diocese of Visby. The oldest part of the church is the nave, erected during the 12th century. The choir was added during the middle of the 13th century, the presently visible church lacks an apse, typically for churches on Gotland, and instead has a straight eastern wall. The tower is older than the choir. The southern portals of the church exhibit some unusual stone sculptures, the church is decorated with medieval frescos, consisting of two sets made separately at different times. The oldest date from the late 13th century and depict legendary animals, the church was ravaged by fire in 1938, and most of the furnishings, including a 13th-century triumphal cross, were destroyed. The medieval baptismal font, made of local limestone, was among the few items that survived. In 1938–1940, restoration work was carried out, and the church got a new organ in 1955, media related to Ala Church at Wikimedia Commons
Romanesque Architecture is an architectural style of medieval Europe characterized by semi-circular arches. There is no consensus for the date of the Romanesque style, with proposals ranging from the 6th to the late 10th century. It developed in the 12th century into the Gothic style, marked by pointed arches, examples of Romanesque architecture can be found across the continent, making it the first pan-European architectural style since Imperial Roman Architecture. The Romanesque style in England is traditionally referred to as Norman architecture, each building has clearly defined forms, frequently of very regular, symmetrical plan, the overall appearance is one of simplicity when compared with the Gothic buildings that were to follow. The style can be identified right across Europe, despite regional characteristics, Many castles were built during this period, but they are greatly outnumbered by churches. The most significant are the great churches, many of which are still standing, more or less complete.
The largest groups of Romanesque survivors are in areas that were less prosperous in subsequent periods, including parts of southern France, northern Spain and rural Italy. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word Romanesque means descended from Roman and was first used in English to designate what are now called Romance languages, Romance language is not degenerated Latin language. Latin language is degenerated Romance language, Romanesque architecture is not debased Roman architecture. Roman architecture is debased Romanesque architecture, the first use in a published work is in William Gunns An Inquiry into the Origin and Influence of Gothic Architecture. The term is now used for the more restricted period from the late 10th to 12th centuries, Many castles exist, the foundations of which date from the Romanesque period. Most have been altered, and many are in ruins. By far the greatest number of surviving Romanesque buildings are churches, the scope of Romanesque architecture Romanesque architecture was the first distinctive style to spread across Europe since the Roman Empire.
In the more northern countries Roman building styles and techniques had never been adopted except for official buildings, although the round arch continued in use, the engineering skills required to vault large spaces and build large domes were lost. There was a loss of continuity, particularly apparent in the decline of the formal vocabulary of the Classical Orders. In Rome several great Constantinian basilicas continued in use as an inspiration to builders, the largest building is the church, the plan of which is distinctly Germanic, having an apse at both ends, an arrangement not generally seen elsewhere. Another feature of the church is its regular proportion, the plan of the crossing tower providing a module for the rest of the plan. These features can both be seen at the Proto-Romanesque St. Michaels Church, Hildesheim, 1001–1030, the style, sometimes called First Romanesque or Lombard Romanesque, is characterised by thick walls, lack of sculpture and the presence of rhythmic ornamental arches known as a Lombard band
Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and Finland to the east, at 450,295 square kilometres, Sweden is the third-largest country in the European Union by area, with a total population of 10.0 million. Sweden consequently has a low density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre. Approximately 85% of the lives in urban areas. Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden since prehistoric times, emerging into history as the Geats/Götar and Swedes/Svear, Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, while the north is heavily forested. Sweden is part of the area of Fennoscandia. The climate is in very mild for its northerly latitude due to significant maritime influence. Today, Sweden is a monarchy and parliamentary democracy, with a monarch as head of state. The capital city is Stockholm, which is the most populous city in the country, legislative power is vested in the 349-member unicameral Riksdag. Executive power is exercised by the government chaired by the prime minister, Sweden is a unitary state, currently divided into 21 counties and 290 municipalities.
Sweden emerged as an independent and unified country during the Middle Ages, in the 17th century, it expanded its territories to form the Swedish Empire, which became one of the great powers of Europe until the early 18th century. Swedish territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were gradually lost during the 18th and 19th centuries, the last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814, when Norway was militarily forced into personal union. Since then, Sweden has been at peace, maintaining a policy of neutrality in foreign affairs. The union with Norway was peacefully dissolved in 1905, leading to Swedens current borders, though Sweden was formally neutral through both world wars, Sweden engaged in humanitarian efforts, such as taking in refugees from German-occupied Europe. After the end of the Cold War, Sweden joined the European Union on 1 January 1995 and it is a member of the United Nations, the Nordic Council, Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Sweden maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides health care. The modern name Sweden is derived through back-formation from Old English Swēoþēod and this word is derived from Sweon/Sweonas. The Swedish name Sverige literally means Realm of the Swedes, excluding the Geats in Götaland, the etymology of Swedes, and thus Sweden, is generally not agreed upon but may derive from Proto-Germanic Swihoniz meaning ones own, referring to ones own Germanic tribe
Barlingbo Church is a medieval Lutheran church in Barlingbo on the Swedish island of Gotland, in the Diocese of Visby. The presently visible church was finished c and it was however preceded by another church, whose foundations have been discovered under the floor of the present one. The oldest parts of Barlingbo Church are the choir and apse and these have been dated to 1225. Following this, the nave was built, and lastly the tower, the church in its entirety dates from the 13th century. The church has three portals, two of which are in Gothic style and one, the oldest, which is still in the Romanesque tradition, in the western, tower façade there is a rose window. There are Gothic windows with still extant painted glass from c.1280 in the apse, Barlingbo Church is divided by vaults in three sections, length-wise. Its consciously conceived plan has been interpreted as being influenced by Cistercian architecture, the walls are decorated by frescos from different times. Oldest of these are a number of decorative, grey triangles and crosses.
A set of more monumental but likewise purely decorative frescos in the nave, from the 14th century, are frescos in the apse depicting six apostles, unique in their appearance on Gotland. Among the furnishings, the altar has a Baroque top, dated 1683. The triumphal cross is from c, perhaps the most unusual item in the church is the baptismal font, dating from the second part of the 12th century and richly decorated with carved figures. It displays figures from the Bible and the symbols of the evangelists, some of the figures are marked with runes. The unusual font, carved from a block of limestone, is not comparable to any other baptismal font on Gotland. Art historian Johnny Roosval considered it to be one of the finest pieces of art from medieval Sweden, influences from English art from the time have been traced in the font. In the choir, some tombstones from the 13th and 14th centuries are visible, the pews and the organ cover are from the 19th century. One of the bells is from c.1440 and carries inscriptions evoking Christ and Saint Dionysius.
Close to the lies the old parsonage. It was built in 1902 in a style mixing Gothic Revival with Renaissance Revival architecture and this turn-of-the-century interpretation of Medieval architecture is unique on Gotland
Fresco is a technique of mural painting executed upon freshly-laid, or wet lime plaster. Water is used as the vehicle for the pigment to merge with the plaster, and with the setting of the plaster, the fresco technique has been employed since antiquity and is closely associated with Italian Renaissance painting. Buon fresco pigment mixed with water of temperature on a thin layer of wet, fresh plaster, for which the Italian word for plaster. Because of the makeup of the plaster, a binder is not required, as the pigment mixed solely with the water will sink into the intonaco. The pigment is absorbed by the wet plaster, after a number of hours, many artists sketched their compositions on this underlayer, which would never be seen, in a red pigment called sinopia, a name used to refer to these under-paintings. Later, new techniques for transferring paper drawings to the wall were developed. The main lines of a drawing made on paper were pricked over with a point, the paper held against the wall, if the painting was to be done over an existing fresco, the surface would be roughened to provide better adhesion.
This area is called the giornata, and the different day stages can usually be seen in a large fresco, buon frescoes are difficult to create because of the deadline associated with the drying plaster. Once a giornata is dried, no more buon fresco can be done, if mistakes have been made, it may be necessary to remove the whole intonaco for that area—or to change them later, a secco. An indispensable component of this process is the carbonatation of the lime, the eyes of the people of the School of Athens are sunken-in using this technique which causes the eyes to seem deeper and more pensive. Michelangelo used this technique as part of his trademark outlining of his central figures within his frescoes, in a wall-sized fresco, there may be ten to twenty or even more giornate, or separate areas of plaster. After five centuries, the giornate, which were nearly invisible, have sometimes become visible, and in many large-scale frescoes. Additionally, the border between giornate was often covered by an a secco painting, which has fallen off.
One of the first painters in the period to use this technique was the Isaac Master in the Upper Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi. A person who creates fresco is called a frescoist, a secco or fresco-secco painting is done on dry plaster. The pigments thus require a medium, such as egg. Blue was a problem, and skies and blue robes were often added a secco, because neither azurite blue nor lapis lazuli. By the end of the century this had largely displaced buon fresco