Gotlands romanska stenskulptur : Visuella budskap i sten

Detta är en avhandling från Visby : Gotlandsboken AB

Sammanfattning: This thesis aims at a new understanding of the Romanesque stone sculpture of Gotland. The stone reliefs and their treatment are seen as an eye-opener to our ability to observe and perceive meaning in images. The historiographic analysis shows how these images have played a key role in the forming of Swedish art history as an independent academic discipline. As objects from another time, the images came to some extent to change values by being measured against modern art concepts and then sorted as more or less artistically designed, with more or less correct Christian dogmatic content. In the critical analysis of earlier stylistic research, the style relationships prove to be exaggerated and the evidence for them clearly derives from connoisseur assumptions, in an ambition to construct: "a logically arranged context" in order to obtain a "continuous line of development”. The results in such paradigmatic studies tend to be an elegant, systematic sorting and grouping of material. In this thesis the aim is rather to seek an understanding of the images as components of a structuring of a new world concept. My study of the images will not attribute works to anonymous masters, but regard the images as stylistically interrelated within style groups without showing a personal style. As the role of the individual artist is not emphasized, it allows the works to have a greater chronological dispersion than the time limited by the active period of a specific person.The thesis accentuates how Romanesque pictures often serve to create notions of significant dichotomies. The images appear in my research to be aimed at clarifying the state of liminality, a kind of "threshold standing" that arises between different phases of a ritual transition like the Christian baptismal ceremony as a border crossing. Image positions in portals, on fonts and church facades, suggest that they accentuate borders and characterize possible passages, thus also attaining a performative meaning.

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