By CARL G. LAURIN
THE ECCLESIASTICAL PERIOD
NUMEROUS relics of ancient times bear witness to the high peasant culture possessed by Sweden thousands of years before the Christian Era. The finelyshaped swords and the spiral ornaments on buckles and shield-plates of the Bronze Age reveal the presence of artistic taste and skilled craftsmanship in our country before the Persians encountered the Greeks. At a much later period, the Germanic peoples, under impulses from classic civilization, evolved an arabesque form of ornamentation, which spread southward to Italy with the Lombards, and northward to England and Ireland. From Erin's Isle the arabesque was again transplanted to the North, where it underwent a varied development, as may be seen in the decorative convolutions on certain rune stones, found principally in central Sweden, and executed in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Erected at a time when the Romanesque school dominated the continent, these runic monuments often show Romanesque influence in the style of their ornamentations, and the same is true of the old Norse forms of decoration that were revived in the boldly fantastic, marvellously well executed portals of the Norwegian wooden stave-churches as well as in the remains of the Swedish. The first churches in Sweden, like the houses and temples of pagan times, were of wood.
After 1100, stone churches became more and more common. In the twelfth century, Lund Cathedral was dedicated,
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Scandinavian Art. Contributors: Carl Laurin - Author, Emil Hannover - Author, Jens Thiis - Author. Publisher: American-Scandinavian Foundation. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1922. Page number: 37.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.