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New Aspects of the European Influences on the Imagery on the Scandinavian Picture-Runestones Executed in Late Viking Age Art (Picture-runestones)
Start date: Sep 1, 2012, End date: Aug 31, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The more than 2000 Scandinavian picture-runestones form an important part of Late Viking Age art and European art and must be understood in this context. The Mammen, Ringerike and Urnes styles constitute Late Viking Age art throughout the world of the Vikings, i.e. from about 950s to the 1130s AD, with clear European influences on motifs and pictorial structure. This art is an important source to the Christianization of the Vikings.There is a lack of overview and understanding of the imagery of the Scandinavian picture-runestones concerning styles, motifs and pictorial structure as well as Christian European influences on the tradition of raising picture-runestones and their content and message. This projects creates such an overview and understanding of the imagery of the Scandinavian picture-runestones regarding styles, motifs and pictorial structure, which will be integrated into the online Scandinavian Runic-Text Database. This overview and understanding allows identifying Christian European influences on the imagery and tradition.The applicant possesses substantial knowledge and rich experience for the project. Her existing research shows that Late Viking Age art was Scandinavian design in continuous development, with Christian motifs arranged according to Christian pictorial structure. Together, these elements communicated highly abstract theological relations, such as between the Tree of Life and the Cross of Christ. The understanding of this content in the world of the Vikings was clear, because this relationship was conveyed throughout Late Viking Age art and into Romanesque art. Ideologically, Late Viking Age art and Romanesque art were congruent.Professor Frands Herschend and the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History at Uppsala University are the world leaders in research on Scandinavian picture-runestones, and it would, therefore, be the choice location for this research.
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