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The Danish Church paintings.

Bible Cartoons of the Mediveal ages

Dec 19, 2011

The Danish and Swedish church paintings are a unique concentration of church frescoes and murals in the world.

More than 600 churches have murals dated back to the Middle Ages.

In most of Europe mediveal frescoes were destroid during the reformation but in Denmark most of them were covered by limewash and discovered again in the 1860s up until today.

You can still discover hidden paintings under the many layers of limewash.

There are 2 types of murals, the old Romanesque style made by artists coming from the rest of Europe dating back to the 12th century, and the Gothic style made from the middle of 13th century to 15th century.

The paintings from the 13-15th century are made by local Danish artists who developed there own style.

Many of these, like the ones from the Sulsted Church are what we could call a Bible Cartoon which for the common population who could not read was the only way to the stories from the Bible.

The 4 churches I show here all have paintings describing the birth of Jesus.

For more information about the churches use the Google search. Almost all pages are in Danish but you can use the translate option.

1. Sulsted Church. Google Search use translate

This is one of the few churches were the paintings have never been covered by limewash. The frescoes were made by Hans Maler from Randers in 1548.

They depict the Live of Christ from birth to death.

2. Elmelunde Church on Møn.
Google Search use translate

The artist was the "Elmelunde Master" who decorated many of the churches on Møn.

The paintings by him are said to have characteristic sleepy faces.

The paintings in the nave were discovered in 1885 and restored. In 1969 a major restoration work was made which also uncovered new paintings also from the Romanesque period.

3. Sanderum Church at Odense.

Google Search use translate

This is one of the latest large renovations made by the National Museum. During this renovation in 2009-2011 some paintings were discovered, which in 1882 during the first discoveries were covered again as they were considered too offensive because of their erotic character.

This church has both Romanesque paintings from 1175-1275 and Gothic paintings from 1500-1536

Link: Sanderum Kirke History in Danish

4. Skivholme Church Google Search use translate

Skivholme west of Aarhus, built around 1050, is decorated with Gothic paintings from 1500-1503 which were uncovered and restored in 1896-99.


Church Frescoes in Denmark Wikipedia

Search on Kalkmalerier use translate A database with images from both Denmark and Sweden.


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