Bysantinisk prægede krucifikser i højmiddelalderens Danmark – hvordan, hvornår, hvorfor

  • Ebbe Nyborg Danmarks Kirker, The National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen


The royal crucifixes so characteristic of the 12th century only gradually gave way to the Gothic suffering-Christs (Christus Patiens) in Scandinavia. In Denmark we find instances of an earlier, transitional type with a Byzantinizing, right-curving Christ in book illuminations, metalwork, stone and polychrome wooden sculptures. This paper concentrates on the Byzantine-influenced crucifixes that have served in church liturgy.  – Although the body of Christ is depicted as dead or dying, these crucifixes present Him with a royal crown and wide open eyes as in the contemporary royal crucifixes. He would thus be presented as both the eternally ruling King of Heaven and the suffering Son of Man. This is of course in full agreement with the teaching that Christ is both totally God and totally human. But such odd combinations, dating mostly from c. 1175–1225, are certainly rare among contemporary European crucifixes. They offer an exceptional insight into the local conditions for the introduction of new theological doctrine in ordinary parish churches. One main reason for the obvious conservatism would have been a (lay and clerical) concern for the dignity of Christ.
How to Cite
NYBORG, Ebbe. Bysantinisk prægede krucifikser i højmiddelalderens Danmark – hvordan, hvornår, hvorfor. ICO Iconographisk Post. Nordisk tidskrift för bildtolkning – Nordic Review of Iconography, [S.l.], n. 1, p. 37-54, apr. 2014. ISSN 2323-5586. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 21 oct. 2021.


Crucifixion, Christ of the Passion, Christus Patiens, Christus Rex, Christus Triumphans, religious art, Scandinavian mediaeval art, discovery of the individual