”At præsentere sig selv” – Stifterfigurerne i Naumburg og psykehistorie

  • Søren Kaspersen Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen, Denmark


Title:  ”To present oneself” – The Donor Figures in Naumburg and Psycho-history

The ensemble of founder statues situated in the western choir of the Naumburg Cathedral is one of the most intriguing and most discussed examples of medieval portraiture. The twelve sculptures are very lifelike but they cannot be portraits of the historical persons in any real sense. Some of them behave very unlike founders, expressing different frames of mind and seeming to relate to each other in an anachronistic way. This essay provides a new interpretation of the figures’ relations and functions considered within the framework of an Augustinian worldview and based mainly on a new identification and understanding of the Sizzo-figure. Furthermore the rhetoric and expressive means of the Naumburg Master are discussed in relation to the emergence of the new Gothic style, a process that included a significant reception of and negotiation with the art of Antiquity. In the view of the present article this process reflects a psychogenese dialectic connected with the contemporary sociogenese and created by the educational ideals and refinements of courtly culture in its relations with the religious sphere and with love as its central fore. The style of the figures then is the frame and visualization of a new ‘mental architecture’.

How to Cite
KASPERSEN, Søren. ”At præsentere sig selv” – Stifterfigurerne i Naumburg og psykehistorie. ICO Iconographisk Post. Nordisk tidskrift för bildtolkning – Nordic Review of Iconography, [S.l.], n. 2, p. 4-52, dec. 2016. ISSN 2323-5586. Available at: <https://ojs.abo.fi/ojs/index.php/ico/article/view/1509>. Date accessed: 03 oct. 2022.


Portraiture, Donor figures, Naumburg Cathedral, Augustine’s De civitate Dei, Style and anthropology, sociogenese – psychogenese, Courtly culture, Love