Frederik II af Danmark og Sophie af Mecklenburg – et stjernepar fra renæssancen. En tysk fyrstelig repræsentationsform i Danmark?

  • Carsten Bach-Nielsen Church History and Practical Theology, Aarhus University, Denmark

Abstract

Title: Frederik II of Denmark and Sophie of Mecklenburg – a Renaissance Star Couple. A German Royal Representational Form in Denmark?
During the late Middle Ages, Danish kings and queens donated artefacts and fittings to local churches. Most spectacular was the huge altarpiece given to the Franciscan Convent of Odense by Queen Christine, a work of Claus Berg now in the Cathedral of Odense. The civil war in 1533–1536 left Denmark impoverished. The reformation king Christian III was not a donor, and he is hardly reflected in Danish ecclesiastical art. His son, Frederik II (1559-1588) however, was a splendid renaissance ruler. In 1572, he married his cousin Sophie of Mecklenburg and their alliance was rendered in the language of apotheosis – the apex being the canopy in the great hall of Kronborg Castle in Elsinore. At this point of convergence of the line of Danish kings, the royal couple is invested with the power of history. This way of identifying with ancestors seems to be a strategy of younger renaissance courts in Germany such as Mecklenburg, where the elector Ulrich and his consort Elizabeth of Denmark had their genealogy constructed by the historian and humanist Chyträus. Genealogy became the main motif of Philipp Bandin’s enormous funerary monument to Ulrich, Elizabeth and Anna of Pomerania in the Cathedral of Güstrow. In contrast, Frederik and Sophie of Denmark are not shown as kneeling donors: their personal mottoes are equated with quotations of the Bible; their monograms appear at the same level as the monograms of Christ, and they even seem to be connected with His rising from the grave or ascending into heaven.
Published
2015-06-29
How to Cite
BACH-NIELSEN, Carsten. Frederik II af Danmark og Sophie af Mecklenburg – et stjernepar fra renæssancen. En tysk fyrstelig repræsentationsform i Danmark?. ICO Iconographisk Post. Nordisk tidskrift för bildtolkning – Nordic Review of Iconography, [S.l.], n. 2, p. 39-65, june 2015. ISSN 2323-5586. Available at: <https://ojs.abo.fi/ojs/index.php/ico/article/view/972>. Date accessed: 24 sep. 2021.
Section
Articles

Keywords

Danish Ecclesiastical Art, Danish Renaissance, Fredrik II of Denmark, Sophie of Mecklenburg, Royal Representation, Claus Berg, Bernt Notke