Wednesday, May 3, 2017

More Albertus Pictor

Back in March I wrote about Albertus Pictor, an artist active in Sweden between about 1460 and 1509. That first post featured paintings from just one church; this post is a grab bag from others.

Chess with death.

Bears eat the naughty boys who mocked Elisha.

The Wheel of Fortune. Again, what I love about these are their ordinariness. These are the stories and images that ordinary medieval people knew. The Wheel of Fortune was not just a literary concept tossed around by Dante and Chaucer and the like, but an idea that most people would have understood.


Some overall views of the churches. Many more at the Swedish site decided to the 500th anniversary of the artist's death.

1 comment:

G. Verloren said...

This is a bit tangential, but I've always seen the bit with Elisha and the bears (and other similar stories) as being some of the most compelling arguments made by the Abrahamic tradition itself for rejecting said tradition outright.

There are just so many little instances like these where Jahweh is made out to act in ways that are really staggeringly petty and awful, which always seemed to me to suggest a massive sense of insecurity (either in himself, or in his faithful).

So much of The Bible, but particularly The Old Testament, reads like the words of a playground bully acting tough, as much to convince themselves of their own imagined superiority as to convince others. "My god could beat up your god! Your god is stupid and weak! My god is the best god ever, and he loves me and my tribe the most, because we're his special Chosen People! So there!

In the same way that James T. Kirk asked "What does god need with a starship?", I must ask "Why would a supreme being need to display his power by having bears maul children to death over a bit of rudeness and lack of faith?"