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Scandinavian art and architecture

The Early Christian Period

Church building became the principal artistic activity when Scandinavia was Christianized in the 11th cent. The wooden stavkirke, a medieval church decorated with grotesque figures, is unique to this region; examples remain only in Norway, where it was most prevalent. The cathedral at Lund, Sweden, begun in 1085, reveals Lombard influence; Gothic elements predominate in the cathedrals of Linköping and Skara. The island of Gotland produced numerous sculptural and architectural masterworks of the Gothic period. The cathedral at Trondheim, begun in the 12th cent., bears a resemblance to English Gothic architecture, particularly to Lincoln Cathedral. Uppsala Cathedral was built by French architects.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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