Gerson Digital : Denmark


7.7 Summing Up

The variety in models that have been identified in Danish church furnishings form concrete evidence of the availability of prints, which helped Danish artists in shaping the pictorial vocabulary of the 17th century, whether as inspiration, through emulation, adaption or simply by copying the prints. This dependence on and approach to Netherlandish prints was nothing extraordinary during the 17th century and can be found time and again not only in Scandinavia, but in the German area and Eastern Europe as well.1 Indeed, the general characteristics of religious art in Denmark – the predominant use of Netherlandish models, Goltzius’ popularity, the availability of a wide variety of prints, the popularity of Maerten de Vos’ biblical histories, the widespread use of Visscher’s Theatrum Biblicum and the adaption of the printed models to local needs – all accords with Sigrid Christie’s conclusions to her study of the Norwegian material.2

The ongoing research will certainly contribute further to our understanding of the dependency on and approach to Netherlandish prints by Danish artists of the 17th century. In particular it is to be expected that research will benefit from the future publication of illustrated volumes on printmakers such as the Sadelers, De Passes and De Jodes in the New Hollstein series and from the continued work on online collection databases at major print rooms. Nevertheless, while this will surely add depth to our understanding of the availability of Netherlandish prints and the ways they were used in Denmark, the overall conclusion will probably remain more or less the same: the importance of Netherlandish prints for the formation of religious art in Denmark during the 17th century can hardly be overrated.


1 Kodres 2011, p. 130.

2 Christie 1973, pp. 94-98.

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