Book Series Art History (Outside a Series)

The Gothic Sculpture of Uppsala Cathedral

On Spiritual Guidance and Creative Joy

Anna Nilsén

  • Pages: 102 p.
  • Size:210 x 297 mm
  • Illustrations:21 b/w, 175 col.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2014

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-55170-8
  • Hardback
  • Available


The author’s main field of scholarship is medieval church art and architecture, with a particular focus on the relationship between art and function. As associate professor at Uppsala University, she headed, until her retirement, an interdisciplinary postgraduate seminar for medieval and Renaissance studies within the Faculty of Arts.


The aim of this book is to present to an international audience the medieval sculpture of Uppsala Cathedral, in particular that of the High Middle Ages to be found mainly in the choir, where in the decades around 1300 French workshops were at work, among them that of Estienne de Bonnueill.

The emphasis is on the figural material and its interpretation, but examples are also given of the foliate ornament, which is of a very high standard. Part of the book is devoted to a series of reliefs on the corbels around the sanctuary. According to the author, its programme was most probably intended to be used primarily in the spiritual guidance offered by the church. The book also gives an exposé of the figures on the capitals and portals. The imagery here consists in part of sometimes rather unorthodox fabulous beasts, no doubt partly products of the sculptors’ imaginations.