The ancient times of Saaremaa, Gothic and Kuressaare classicism are well-known concepts in Estonian art history, the shadows of which have been left in other periods. True, in the Estonian context, the Saaremaa Renaissance and Baroque are not so talkative, but very interesting finds can be made here.


The following piece follows the three-part work "Oesel einst und jetzt" (1899-1915), published by M. Körber 100 years ago, in which the author describes prominent artistic monuments in Saaremaa's sacral building. The estimates are rarely given by Körber, with the exception of the only altar of the Anseküla Church, over which he could have a great deal of reflection, being the pastor of the same church.


The primary source for the study of the church interior is the protocol for church disposition, part of which was the survey of the church equipment.In the Estonian Historical Archives there are not all of Saaremaa's churches and every visitation, but the existing ones are accurate and thorough.Martin Körber's above-mentioned book is of paramount importance. A purely artistic-historical overview of Saaremaa's churches was written by Körber's contemporary W. Neumann (Neumann 1908).


A new time - reformation led to reorganization in church liturgy. The basic differences between the new and the old church were reshaped by the Catholic Church, the sanctuary, the Lutheran - a meeting place. Such a change gave impetus to the transformation, first of all, in the interior of the church, only then in foreign architecture.


The latest research on the architecture of the Estonian Reformed Church was published by Krista Kodreselt (Kodres 1995). The interior of the church is reflected in the Sten Karling monograph (Karling 1943), in terms of style history, and only in one area - wood carvings. The parallels with the neighbors make it possible to draw on Inga Lena Ängström's doctoral thesis on Swedish altars (Ängström 1992) and Boris Vipers' study "Baroque Art in Latvia" (Vipers 1939).


Saaremaa was in Sweden during the observed period in two countries, Denmark and from 1645. Since both countries were Lutheran, there were no significant differences in church organization. In the visit to 1647, "Bishop Jhering had to admit that the religious and religious-spiritual condition was better in some respects than in the way".

If the architectural thought remained conservative, the interior was taken into account with the requirements of the new time. The church was made active and therefore the clergyman had to be well visible and audible. Similarly to the early stages of Christianity, the division of space became a clear border. In the visual center, on the eastern branch, there was an altar. In the list of Kärla Church inventory, the altar location is specifically localized: Im ersten gewölbe, ais im Chor.


The importance of the problem is illustrated by the fact that King Karl XI himself, who decided that the altar should be arranged in accordance with the orientation of the traditional choir room in the east of the church, was interfered in the controversy in Sweden. This was a novelty with the St. Catherine's Church in Stockholm, because the sanctuary was a central room solution, where, according to architectural logic, the central area was the most important. The pulpit was the equivalent of Altar. which was usually located near the crossroads of the building and the choir or near the sidewalk of the church. That was the way Kärla: Am der Norder, from the stein Cantzel won the Bildhauer Arbeit.


The pingists became important because, in the church's eyes, all members of the congregation were equal and had to sit down. In practice, the layout of the benches was still hierarchical with the chancellery and the altar. Empoor was introduced as an innovative element. On the one hand, the empoor (the balcony) church members had the opportunity to get to the service as close as possible to the service, on the other hand, the orchids that sounded in the balcony had a deeper impression on the listeners and carried them to the heavenly sphere. Later it becomes prevalent that the organ was placed on a balcony built on the western wall.


According to a study by Krista Kodrė, the visits of the 17th century to the churches of Saaremaa are not mentioned. It distinguishes Saaremaa from other Estonian churches. One of the reasons for this can be the relative size of the parish churches, therefore, there was no practical need for the people to be placed further, on the other hand there were no organs in the orchestras. Some of the existing things were lifted; In the common practice, the baptismal stone was brought from the entrance (west side) to the church room, beside the altar. Some of the items that lost their practical significance, such as the hangman and the sidewalks, were taken out of the church, but the bolts were consistent: in 1675 there was still a chapel in Jämaja, the altar of the church of Kaarma remained in the church building.




Next, let's look at one element of the Protestant Church interior - the altar. A more precise name would be a retable, or an altar wall, that is, an armchair on top of or above the altar table. Church building was an expensive project that the Livonian nobles did not want to take on their own, but the erection of the altars and chanceries was a way to represent them. Moreover, the church was far more public than the manor, and emphasizing the status of itself here is important.


Originally, the retailers continued to retain the shape of a medieval hideout, where, after the opening of the wings, a spectacular sight appeared that would undoubtedly affect the praying person. In Estonia, the most typical example is the Harju-Madis altar (1631). It may be assumed that the altars of the Kihelkonna and Kirla churches functioned in a similar way. Probably also the Varbla itself, at least so can be deduced from the three plaques depicting the birth of Christ, the Holy Dinner, and Christ's heaven.


Based on the experience of the author, supported by Inga Lena Ängström's study, such a combination of combinations in the Lutheran church was used only for horse-drawn winged whales. Hiding the central event behind the closed doors is also evident in the altars of a new type, classical Renaissance building, multi-storey, vertically-readable altar. The image of the Holy Supper in the middle zone of the Koeru church (1645), in the middle zone of the church, is on the side with retained details of hinges and locks.


The theme accepted by Lutheran was narrower than that of the Catholics, but did not differ much from the two denominations depicted on the altar wall. At the same time, the saints depicted retailers in the 16th century, both in Lutheran and Catholic churches. The Lutheran church focused on the suffering of Christ, the preferred topics were the Holy Communion, Kolgata, the Resurrection. In part, there was a significant stimulatory effect of art on human imagination. The exhilarating spirit was willing to part in the revelation. On the other hand, art was illustrated in the scriptures.


Martin Luther realized the necessity of concretely declaring the word, which rejected the original idea of ​​denial of revelation. Mr Luther suggested that if there is a picture of an altar on the altar, then this is the Last Supper. The Holy Spirit felt more clearly in front of the eucharistic image before Christ's body and blood. In Estonia, one third of the 17th-century altar paintings are depicted with the Holy Supper image. This is due in part to the fact that this kind of understanding was also understandable with respect to the faithful peoples.


Renaissance Salt acquired the architectural, Italian palace facade or antique triumphant shape. The altar of Giovanni Marigliano (1488-1558) in the Church of Santa Ana dei Lombardi in Napoli is considered as a typical example of a three-part altar with a vertically rising heart. In Italy, the effects of antique art were very strong, and it is therefore natural that the idea of ​​triumphalism was borrowed from the Romans from the old times to express Christianity's victory.


This form is illustrated by Donatello's tabernacle with Mary's announcement at the Church of Santa Croce in Florence. The designers of the Idea Town designers have been practicing harmonious applications in every field in their practical life. Brunelleschi, the brilliant designer of the Florentine Dome, recommended the standardization of altar frames. The Triumphal Altar Frame was the best option for this.


Baroque art added motivated proportions of persuasiveness and efficacy, both with realistic sculptures as rich and lush ornaments.


The most magnificent altar wall of the Estonian high-baroque was the Märjamaa church (1689), originally from the Christian Ackermann workshop, containing volumetric acanthus leaflets, sunflower seeds, lillevans, knorpelornaments and figuratives. The simplest retails were plain tablecloths with a pair of pillars or a decorative frame (Anseküla, Pöide, Reigi, Järva-Madise). On the other hand, the most decorative ones were multi-storey altars with a vertically inclined hinge, pairs of piers and many sculptural figures led by proclaiming Christ's rebirth (Ambla, Haapsalu, Keila, Koeru, Kolga-Jaani, Lüganuse / destroyed / Martna, Palamuse, Ridala, Simuna, Türi, Vigala, Vormsi / partially preserved /).


The baroque chalet, a direct antiquity Nordic variant, was developed in Estonia at the end of Swedish time (Tallinn Cathedral, Swedish-Mihkli Church). In Saaremaa this type of altar became dominant only in the 18th century, when the example was already taken from Riga (St., Pöide, Muhu (?)).




Altars and chancelleries gave both churches and nobles the churches. Often, a fictitious work of art was erected in memory of his lost memorial.This act was also an expression of the goddess of donor. It was characterized by Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie, who donated over 30 altars to the churches in Sweden and the Baltics. In the early days of the advent of lutheranism, Protestant Scandinavian countries may also point out another tendency: the altars of the Catholic person or form were erected in the Roman Catholic faith in the memory of their lost husband, and thus showed their sympathy against it.


An example of this is the Kärla altar, although the author does not have any data on the education of Anna Overläcker. It is interesting to conclude that this retailer is similar in type to the Flemish altar donated by the Swedish nobility in the Trosa County Council and Bettn Church.


However, it is rather risky to share the altars of a similar age with Catholic and Protestant ones. The artists tended to prefer the so-called. Catholic role models that spread as Flemish engraving mappings. Widespread was the Bible Thesaurus veterina et novi testament (1585), known as the Piscatorian Bible, which was in fact a major graphic collection for the Antwerp Manerque Maerten de Vos (1532-1603) and its influential artists' drawings, first published by Gerard de Jode.


The widespread distribution was provided by the Visscher publishing house in Amsterdam, where it was re-issued in the 17th century. The Icons biblicae (1625-27), which according to the publisher's name is called Merian's Bible, is also included in the Dutch examples. It was printed in southern Germany, but its publisher Matthäus Merian was a Dutch engraver associated with family ties, who had been relocated to Frankfurt.Estonia is dominated by the so-called. Hendrich Goltzius (1558-1616), whose Passion Series (1596-1599) inspired his students Jacques de Gheyni (1565-1629), Jacob Mathami (1571-1631) and Pieter de Jodet (1570-1634).


The so-called Goltzius also includes Bartholomew (1571-1619) and Zacharias (1561-1604) Dolendo and Willem van Swanenburg. We have several sacred lands (Reigi, Tuhala, Saaremaa Museum) based on Zacharias Dolendo and Jacques de Gheyni's 14th Edition Passage Cycle Carel van Mandder (1548-1606).


According to the study by Pia Ehasalu, in the 17th century in Tallinn, trading and collecting graphics were common. By preserving painting, it is highly likely that the copper sections of the printers listed above will also be circulated by local masters.


German-made woodcutting sheets were considered dull and boring. Independent, without example, the altar area practically does not exist in Estonia and Livonia. Boris Vipers by so-called Compositions that are attributed to the original Livonian folk art, all of which are nowadays adaptable to one or another graphic example.




The question of the altar originates from the foregoing. For the elder altars (Kihelkonna, Kärla) it is obvious that they are imported to the island. In the 16th and 17th centuries, luxuries were purchased, and perhaps art works still exist in Lübeck. In 1635, the archives of Kaarma Church were brought to the archives. However, such recordings are rare, the stylistic policy remains the key to determining the origin. To a large extent, the results of this method are still subjective. This is also illustrated by estimates made over the last half century by the Kärdla altar.


Sten Karling admits that part of this altar is likely to originate from northern Germany, between Danzig and Königsberg, where there were widespread hermi-lyster, rhizomes, urns, and the like. The use of motifs from the underground renaissance art ensemble, originating from Cornelis Floris and Vredeman de Vries ornamental grasses.


May Lumiste, on the other hand, assigns the same work to the carving engineer Tönnies Evers (1550-52 ... 1613), whose style was also heavily influenced by the late Renaissance of the lower reaches.


Compared to the other artist's other work with Kärla, it is difficult to see one master's hand. The soldiers' figures at the Evers' late castle from the Lübeck Town Hall War Room (1612) are monumental, tendrils of naturalism with antique soldiers' rigors, with body manipulation. The ornament of rifle pillars is compilation of virtuoso. To date, Lübeck's valued and self-confident champion has been labeled all his work with the emblem of the head of the lily and the metropolis, and has been thoroughly documented. Despite the fact that both S. Karling and M. Lumiste localize the origin of the altar to the southern shore of the Baltic Sea, they have not provided sufficient reference material so that we can accept their views. The scarcity of material does not add anything to the foreground.


The presence of Latin and sub-German texts in the wings of the Church of the Kihelkonna Church does not allow the Danish origin to be attributed to it, although, unlike Sweden, long explanatory texts were added to the altar there. According to Latino Marju Lepajõe, the Latin language comes from the 16th century, so the text boards are synchronized with the central board. Taking the text as the first reference to positioning, the origin of high-quality artistic quality paintings should be sought from some of the lower art Arts Center. But of what, it will remain a task for the future.


The chanceries of the Balthasar Raschky branch, operating in Kuressaare, show a good masterpiece and data from the cousins ​​of the Kuressaare chisels and glass workers dating back to 1642. Nevertheless, the participation of local masters can only be assumed in the case of simple-shaped altars of the Anseküla and Pöide Church and naive altar shots. Only the new altar of the Holy and Simultaneous Pöide Church (destroyed) from the middle of the 18th century was added to the master of Kuressaare, Gottfried Böhme.




Altars in Saaremaa churches




Anna Overläcker gave the church an altar in 1591 to commemorate her missing husband, Otto Buxhoeveden, the county governor of Saaremaa (dead 1575). The list of the Church's equipment reveals that the altar was located in the first chariot, that is, in a chorus, it was made of wood and "colored in every color". The altar had two wings.


Martin Körber refers to the existence of wings: "Auf der einen Flügelthür des Altarblattes", but they do not describe them more closely. It seems that M. Körber has trusted more sources of archival material than himself, since the hidden text of the backside of a brick wall on the wall of the church was quoted simply by reference to archival materials. According to S. Karling, the altar wing has been mentioned in the list of churches in 1775. Therefore, the altar of Kärla was a kappaltar.


The inventory page does not have any hint at the altar, but a carved medallion, and the detailed text of the information from the donator is proof that this is probably the same piece of work that we now know as the epitaph of Buxhoeveden, and is moored in the eastern wall of the current Kirla Chapel (1842).


The text in the poddle zone has been updated but was unlikely to be changed. It's hard to say something about the wings of the Altar. The idea is that the images of Adam and Eve displayed on the Saaremaa Museum at the moment, with six pictures of Christ's passage on the inside. On a visual observation, they can not be considered earlier than the 17th century. However, the proof of this is the prototype of a single cartridge - the engraving of Zacharias Dolendo, which was probably completed at the beginning of the 17th century.


The Kärla altar is a pseudoalabasteraltar type. The name comes from the fact that he snuffles the Flemish-born retaets, where the central embossment was carved into the alabaster. Such a valuable work was disguised as n.ö. the closet Late insertion of wings is not conceivable, since the creeping stone was thrown away by new fashion trends.


The excellent performance of the woodcutting of the Kärla altar was noted by S. Karling and M. Lumiste. The altar of purée (soft and light) is probably thought to be a sculpture of Kolgata. John is on the right, Mary is on the left and Mary Magdalene is kneeling. On the cross on them is Christ. All figures are almost full-blown, the city has a low relief in the background, but accurately cut.


The faces of the figures are soft and breathless, while excessive emotions are avoided. The viewer opens like a doorway, and should be grateful to see what is happening. N.-ö. At the "doorway", on two sides in the corners there are foam with indifferent faces, they do not see what happens underneath them. Although the Altar of the Church of Kärla is a rare individual example, it greatly reflects the landscape of our Renaissance art.




The altar of the Kihelkonna church is unique throughout Estonia, both in its age (1591) and in terms of subject matter, being the first altar of the Holy Supper image in Estonia. In his design, he still has a Triptych in the late Gothic tradition, but adding textboards to a central image with a picture has already been a sign of a breakthrough in the Renaissance. The sidewalks have the text of the Sacrament of Holy Communion in Vulgate and Low German:



DOMINVS NOSTER ISSUES CHRISTVS IN EA NOCTE QVA TRADITVS EST ACCEPIT PA-NEM ET POSTQVAM GRATIAS EIS: SET FREGIT ET DEDIT DISCI: PLEIS SVIS DICENS: ACCIPITE COMEDITE: HOC EST CORPVS MEVM, QVOD PRO VOBIS DA: TVR, HOC FACITE IN MEI COM: MEMORATIONEM.               Unser Her Jesus Cris: tus / in der Nacht da Er werhaten ward / Nam Er das brot / Danket und benck es / und på seinen Jüngern / und Sprach: Nemmet ein und Esset / Das ist mein Leib / Der für euch gegeben wirt Solches thüt zu meinem gedechtniss.





Desselbigen gleichen Nam Er auch den Kelch / Nach dem Abendmal dancket und gab ihn den / und sprach Nemmet hin und trinket alle darauf / dieser Kelch ist das Neue Testament in meinem Blut / Dass für euch wergessen wirt / zur vergebubg der Sünden Solches thüt So forft jes trinket zu meinem gedechtnis


The transition from the central board to the slice is also marked by the text: Das brot das Wir brechen / ist das Nicht Die gemeinschafft des Leibes Christi / Des gesegnete Kelch welhen wir segnen / ist das nicht / die gemeinschafft des blütes Christi. 1. Corinth: 10.


The wings have text only on the inside and the outside is painted monochrome. Altar has no bugs, therefore, the closed position may not have been foreseen any more. So far, the altar is anonymous. And despite this, the initials left in the uprights of the central board








Altar frame is over painted. It is blue in color and blue in color from the edges. This paint layer may be secondary and belong to the end of the 18th century, which is the time when the chancery was renovated (1796). The altar beetle is a curly slice, and sculptural allegories Spes (Hope), Caritas (Love) and Justitia (Justice) create the top and the corner. The sculpture is the Christ's resurrection painted on the horizontal tables.

Similarly to the Kärla altar, Kihelkonna altar is one of the most endearing works of its time in Estonia.


Anseküla and Pöide


The new time and fashion are represented by the Pöide (destroyed) and the Anseküla altar. They are modest representatives of their type, but examples of interesting things in the era are: one-off, proportional, flanked by simple pillars. Altars with a modest quadratic form and a naive image could have been made by the masters of the small town. The potential of local origin greatly increases their value in our eyes.


The Anseküla altar is depicted on the cross of Christ. In the inventory of 1716, the altar is described as "Auf dem altar ist ein tafel, worauf die Kreuzigung Christi abgemalet". At the end of the 19th century, the altar was evaluated by the emotional paralysis of the Anseküla pastor Martin Körber: "From the scripture, the altar tries to tune the sensitive mind to prayer. And the painter has not just been Raffael, the producer of this image was such a co-worker that he did not want to see the image of a more aesthetically perceived viewer for the second time. " Such words are unexpected from the man's mouth, whose father captured the antiquities of Livonia. The charm of a naive painting has not yet been discovered.


Remarkable is the Jerusalem view in the background. Chapel domes, red roofs of buildings and white walls are painted somewhat unilaterally, but the masters have a complete view of the metropolis. Since Christ, Mary, and John's nail is round and full-colored, it seems that the author has used some of the older paintings as a model and probably most of his paintings on the head, since the engravings circulated at that time were no longer used by such an archaic type of halo.


Behind the Pöide church chancellery, with the image of the Holy Supper and the pillars based on the bottom wall of the chaos, was probably the old altar painting, as the signatories did not meet the epic texts of the Eucharist. Must be taken into account by Mrs Luther's recommendation to give preference to this message at altar screens. The composition of the Pöide board was somewhat more proud than the previewed Anseküla. The altare sculpture depicts Christ in the garden of Ketchup, and everything was crouched with a krutsif. The ends ended with Moses and John's sculptures. A similar scene in which Moses and John were raised to the upper zone as a continuation of the pillars has also been used on the altar of St. John's Church in Saaremaa. The latter, however, appears to be in the mid-18th century.


Altaritivad at the Saaremaa Museum


The two plate boards of Adam and Eve are likely to be wings of an altar, because on their other side there is a representation of a passage in six cassettes. The sages are considered from the bottom right up and from the top to the bottom: the whipping of Christ, Pontius Pilatus washing his hand, Christ on the rock of the oil, wearing the Cross, Christ's feast of christ, the resurrection of Christ. An example of the "Christ of the Nativity of the Mother" is Zaharias Dolendo's engraving by Carel van Mandr. Zacharias Dolendo carried out a whole engraver folder on Passo, which contained 14 graphic pages. but in other pictures the artist does not use them as an example.


Altar's most interesting side is the outside. Adam and Eve, Pattulangemine and Paradise were also depicted in the Middle Ages, but their placement on the entire wing of the wings of the wicker is already a challenge and a sign of a humanistic way of thinking.


Known to be the first Dutch nobility champion Jan van Eyck, painting painted men and women, Adam and Eve, on the altar of Ghent (1432). This work was familiar to Albrecht Dürer, who noted the altar in his book of contents in 1521 (Panofsky 1971: 215). However, A. Dürer realized his vision of the first people in the world in 1504.


The Dürer engravers are a distant example of the figures we have seen, even though the bodies are silhouetted, there is no Dürer-specific power that characterizes a humane, humane person. Saaremaa's plates are more like Lucas Cranach's elder (1472-1553), sensitive and naive to the human body.


The extraordinary nature of the Saaremaa slabs is that there are no more retailers in Estonia with the Scene of Pattulangemine. They are a kind of memorial to the idea of ​​a German humanism.


in conclusion


The end of the 16th century and the 17th century was the period when the Renaissance grew seamlessly into Baroque art. Because these limits were not so rigid, we have not paid much attention to the style. Rather, a common line is presented with similar phenomena elsewhere. With its magnificent individual examples, Saaremaa is clearly depicted in the Estonian context. Undoubtedly, the historical background has played a role here.


The center of the Diocese and the city that formed it, and the subsequent administrative-political status of the Saaremaa Knights, made this island attractive in the following centuries. The wish of the bad guys to emphasize their status in the church, donating altars and chancelleries, and placing hailing pituals on the walls, was also characterized by Mainland Estonia. However, in the 17th century no work was ordered from Tallinn alone. The location on the crossroads of the Baltic Sea has enriched our art through centuries.



Two-year book of the Saaremaa Museum 1995 - 1996