Bildprogrammet på västra korväggen i Södra Råda


  • Inger Ahlstedt-Yrlid Art History, Lund University, Sweden


Södra Råda Church, Sweden, Middle Ages, Medieval Painting, Wooden Church, Matts Kettilmundsson, Magnus Eriksson, Birger Magnusson, Erik Magnusson, Valdemar Magnusson, , Ingeborg Håkansdotter


Title: The Picture Programme on the West Wall of Södra Råda Church, Sweden
In November 2001 the wooden church of Södra Råda, dendrochronologically dated to the first decades of the 14th century, burnt down, the victim of arson. What was lost was a unique building, its walls covered with dated paintings, the ones in the choir from 1323, the ones in the nave from 1494. Although well known in art history, sometimes even styled the Arena Chapel of Swedish Medieval art, these paintings still contained a number of iconographically unsolved problems. The question of the identity of the donors, portrayed on the western wall of the choir, remained unanswered. Their names (as verified in a restoration report of 1983) were never painted on the scrolls in the donor’s hands. Based on the firm dating of the paintings to 1323 and a new, thorough review of the scarce written source material, this article is an attempt to solve some of the iconographical problems in the light of the historical events of that year and of, sadly post factum, filling in the names on the donor’s scrolls. The latter, according to the author’s view, should have been those of Matts Kettilmundsson, at the time Swedish governor of Finland, and his daughter Ingrid.