Altertavlen i Hedalen, et madonnaskap

Elisabeth Andersen


There has long been consensus among scholars that the altarpiece in Hedalen Stave church in Valdres once was a medieval tabernacle, housing a wooden sculpture of the Virgin Mary. The over-painted altarpiece is today composed of the tabernacle corpus and wings, plus a crucifix. The later paint is from the second half of the 18th century. The tabernacle is dated to the mid 13th century. In connection with the preservation at the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU), incised drawings were found in the niches of the wings, showing that they once contained small reliefs. In the followingà I will interpret these drawings, based on comparison with other Nordic and European Madonna tabernacles from the same period, and attempt to verify the earlier theories that this was a Madonna tabernacle.



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ISSN 2387-6700

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