Albertus Pictor

Holy Trinity Church

Helga Trefaldighet (Holy Trinity) Church was inaugurated in 1302. It replaced the previous church of local Ullerås parish. The church is made of grey stone and brick and it was originally a three-nave basilica. The western tower was added in the 15th century. The church was damaged badly by fire in 1702. The interior is particularly notable. It is decorated with paintings by the famous medieval artist Albertus Pict ...
Founded: 1302 | Location: Uppsala, Sweden

Nederluleå Church

Nederluleå church is the largest medieval church in Norrland. It was built during the 15th century and inaugurated by Archbishop Jacob Ulfsson in 1492. The church has a very rich interior and furnishings. The late-mediaeval frescos in the chancel were by the school of Albertus Pictor. The richly decorated triptych was made in Antwerpen around 1520 and it is one of the finest in Sweden. The font and cruficix date al ...
Founded: 1492 | Location: Gammelstad, Sweden

Gammelstad Church Town

Gammelstad Church Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated in Gammelstaden near the city of Luleå. It is the best preserved example of a type of town that was once widespread throughout northern Scandinavia. As Church Village of Gammelstad, Luleå, it was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1996. At its centre is an early 15th century stone church surrounded by 424 wood-built houses. The houses were only us ...
Founded: ca. 1492 | Location: Luleå, Sweden

Bromma Church

Bromma church is a medieval so-called round church. The oldest parts of the church were built in the later 12th century as a fortress church, and the church is among Stockholm's oldest buildings. Originally the church consisted of the round house and a choir on the east side. The nave and the sacristy were constructed in the mid 15th century, built in stone. In the 1480s Albertus Pictor or his pupils painted more than for ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Solna Church

The medieval church of Solna is a so-called round church. The oldest part of the church, the roundhouse, originates from the late 12th century, and was especially built for defense purposes. Attached to this round center is a weaponhouse (south), a rectangular choir to the east, and a rectangular nave to the west. North of the choir is the sacristy, and to the east an octagonal grave choir. There is a second grave choir o ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Floda Church

Floda church well known for its architecture and decorations. The original church was built in the 12th century, but the current brick church was built over it in 1886-1888. The rich mural paintings were made in 1480s by Albertus Pictor and are very well-preserved. The original colours are still visible due walls have never been whitewashed or overpainted as usually in old churches. There is a Baroque chapel of field mar ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Floda, Sweden

Sollentuna Church

Sollentuna Church originates from the late 1100s but it has been restored and enlarged several times. The current appearance dates from the 1600s. In 1560 remnants of Gustav Vasa and his two wives were held in Sollentuna church on the way to funeral in Uppsala Cathedral. The interior is decorated with murals by famous Albertus Pictor school in the late 1400s. The thurible dates from the 1200s and font was made in Gotland ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Sollentuna, Sweden

Härkeberga Church

Härkeberga church was built in the early 1300s and was enlarged in the 1400s with the vestry and porch. Also vaults were added then. Albertus Pictor decorated arches and walls with murals in the mid 1480's. The wall paintings were restored in the 1930s. The paintings in Härkeberga church are Albertus Pictor's finest works. The stories originate from both the Old and New Testaments. They relate to the Biblia Pauperum, a ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Enköping, Sweden

Täby Church

Täby Church was built during the latter half of the 13th century. It was first constructed as a square hall. In mid 14th century a vestry was added and about 100 years later the church porch was built. During the second half of the 15th century, the flat wooden ceiling was replaced by a vaulted ceiling. The altarpiece dates from the 1470s. The church is best known as one of the churches with mural paintings by Albertus ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Täby, Sweden

Ödeby Church

Öbeby Church was entirely reconstructed in 1680 by Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie. The tower date from the original church built in the 13th century. Ödeby Church is richly decorated, probably by the workshop of Albertus Pictor in the 1470s. The altar is a significant attraction, made in Mechelen, Belgium, in the beginning of the 15th century. The pulpit date from 1681.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Glanshammar, Sweden

Ösmo Church

The oldest part of the Ösmo Church was constructed in the latter part of the 12th century. The church was modernized in the 14th century, when the old chancel was demolished and replaced by one which was both taller and wider. The church largely gained its present appearance during the 15th century. The interior of the church is decorated with frescoes added just after the middle of the 15th century. It is said that ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Nynäshamn, Sweden

Odensala Church

The church of Odensala was built in the late 1100s. The sacristy and tower were added later. The brick-made portal dates from the late 1200s. The arches were added in 1300s. Odensala church is famous for its colorful and expressive lime paintings from the 1500"s by Albertus Pictor or his workshop. The altarpiece was made in 1514, but is today in museum. The pulpit is a gift from Count Karl Gyllenstierna (1714).
Founded: 12th century | Location: Sigtuna, Sweden

Knutby Church

Knutby church is a medieval stone church built probably in the late 13th century. The sacristy was built during the 1300s or 1400s. The porch was added probably in the 1400s. The nave, together with the tall and wide chancel is covered by a single pitched roof. The interior is richly decorated with murals, more than any other of Uppland churches. Albertus Pictor was the author of the younger paintings depicting the life ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Knutby, Sweden

Almunge Church

Almunge church was built in the 13th century and extended to the east in the 1660’s. The bell tower was added in the 16th century. Inside the church the most interesting artefacts are the imposing altar retable from 1717 and distinguished pulpit from 1716 made by Carl Spaak. Baptismal font of limestone was made in the 13th century and frescoes by Albertus Pictor in 1490s.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Uppsala, Sweden

Yttergran Church

Yttergran granite church dates from the late 1100s and it is the smallest one in the diocese. The church had originally no tower, although one was added relatively early in the 13th century. The interior decoration dates mainly from about 1480, when famous medieval master Albertus Pictor painted murals. The paintings are in a good condition and are well worth seeing.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Bålsta, Sweden

Kumla Church

Kumla Church was built around 1300 and included a longhouse and a small bell tower. In the end of the 15th century the wood roof was replaced by a brick star vaults. In the 18th century they made the windows bigger and built the bell tower. The church is famous for its beautiful frescoes by Albertus Pictor painted in 1482. The stained glass windows in the choir are the work of the Västerås artist Nils-Aron Berg ...
Founded: c. 1300 | Location: Sala, Sweden

Villberga Church

The original Villberga church consisting of nave and chancel was built probably between 1227-1280. Until the mid-1300s the vaulting of brick and current vestry were added. Simultaneously with the arches were added probably. The porch has been dated to the period 1250-1350. The original frescoes were made probably in the mid-1400s by an unknown artist associated with Mälardalen School. At the end of the 1400's them we ...
Founded: ca. 1227-1280 | Location: Grillby, Sweden

Gryta Church

The age of Gryta Church is unknown. The first church, probably a wooden one, was built there in the 1000’s. How old present stone church is impossible to say, the remains of earlier church can be hidden in the gray stone walls, covered by a thick plaster layer. The church is richly decorated with mural paintings and they are well preserved. The paintings might have been done by Albert the Painter (Albertus Pictor). ...
Founded: 11-12th century | Location: Örsundsbro, Sweden

Löt Church

The sacristy is the oldest part of the Löt Church. It was originally built for the previous wooden church in the 1100s. The present nave and apsis were added in the late 1200s and the church was enlarged in the late 1400s. One of the key attractions is the collection of frescoes on the walls. These were painted by the master Albertus Pictor in the 15th century. The pulpit date from 1657. The separate bell tower was e ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Grillby, Sweden

Kalmar Church

Kalmar Church was built of granite in the late 12th century. Around 1300 it was enlarged and modified to the aisleless Gothic church. In 1485 famous Albertus Pictor decorated walls and vaults with murals. Frescoes were restored in 1958 and still visible. Th current tower was added in 1830. There is font with a cuppa, made of red sandstone, from the late 1100s and medieval wooden sculptures (like a triptych from the mid-14 ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Bålsta, Sweden

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte

The Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte is a baroque French château built between 1658-1661 for Nicolas Fouquet. It was made for Marquis de Belle Île, Viscount of Melun and Vaux, the superintendent of finances of Louis XIV, the château was an influential work of architecture in mid-17th century Europe. At Vaux-le-Vicomte, the architect Louis Le Vau, the landscape architect André le Nôtre, and the painter-decorator Charles Le Brun worked together on a large-scale project for the first time. Their collaboration marked the beginning of the 'Louis XIV style' combining architecture, interior design and landscape design. The garden's pronounced visual axis is an example of this style.

To secure the necessary grounds for the elaborate plans for Vaux-le-Vicomte’s garden and castle, Fouquet purchased and demolished three villages. The displaced villagers were then employed in the upkeep and maintenance of the gardens. It was said to have employed eighteen thousand workers and cost as much as 16 million livres. The château and its patron became for a short time a focus for fine feasts, literature and arts. The poet La Fontaine and the playwright Molière were among the artists close to Fouquet. At the inauguration of Vaux-le-Vicomte, a Molière play was performed, along with a dinner event organized by François Vatel, and an impressive firework show.

After Fouquet was arrested and imprisoned for life, and his wife exiled, Vaux-le-Vicomte was placed under sequestration. The king seized, confiscated or purchased 120 tapestries, the statues, and all the orange trees from Vaux-le-Vicomte. He then sent the team of artists (Le Vau, Le Nôtre and Le Brun) to design what would be a much larger project than Vaux-le-Vicomte, the palace and gardens of Versailles.

The Marshal Villars became the new owner without first seeing the chateau. In 1764, the Marshal's son sold the estate to the Duke of Praslin, whose descendants would maintain the property for over a century. It is sometimes mistakenly reported that the château was the scene of a murder in 1847, when duke Charles de Choiseul-Praslin, killed his wife in her bedroom, but this did not happen at Vaux-le-Vicomte but at the Paris residence of the Duke.

In 1875, after thirty years of neglect, the estate was sold to Alfred Sommier in a public auction. The château was empty, some of the outbuildings had fallen into ruin, and the famous gardens were totally overgrown. The huge task of restoration and refurbishment began under the direction of the architect Gabriel-Hippolyte Destailleur, assisted by the landscape architect Elie Lainé. When Sommier died in 1908, the château and the gardens had recovered their original appearance. His son, Edme Sommier, and his daughter-in-law completed the task. Today, his descendants continue to preserve the château, which remains privately owned by Patrice and Cristina de Vogüé, the Count and Countess de Vogüé. It is now administered by their three sons Alexandre, Jean-Charles and Ascanio de Vogüé. Recognized by the state as a monument historique, it is open to the public regularly.

Architecture

The chateau is situated near the northern end of a 1.5-km long north-south axis with the entrance front facing north. Its elevations are perfectly symmetrical to either side of this axis. Somewhat surprisingly the interior plan is also nearly completely symmetrical with few differences between the eastern and western halves. The two rooms in the center, the entrance vestibule to the north and the oval salon to the south, were originally an open-air loggia, dividing the chateau into two distinct sections. The interior decoration of these two rooms was therefore more typical of an outdoor setting. Three sets of three arches, those on the entrance front, three more between the vestibule and the salon, and the three leading from the salon to the garden are all aligned and permitted the arriving visitor to see through to the central axis of the garden even before entering the chateau. The exterior arches could be closed with iron gates, and only later were they filled in with glass doors and the interior arches with mirrored doors. Since the loggia divided the building into two halves, there are two symmetrical staircases on either side of it, rather than a single staircase. The rooms in the eastern half of the house were intended for the use of the king, those in the western were for Fouquet. The provision of a suite of rooms for the king was normal practice in aristocratic houses of the time, since the king travelled frequently.

Another surprising feature of the plan is the thickness of the main body of the building (corps de logis), which consists of two rows of rooms running east and west. Traditionally the middle of the corps de logis of French chateaux consisted of a single row of rooms. Double-thick corps de logis had already been used in hôtels particuliers in Paris, including Le Vau's Hôtel Tambonneau, but Vaux was the first chateau to incorporate this change. Even more unusual, the main rooms are all on the ground floor rather than the first floor (the traditional piano nobile). This accounts for the lack of a grand staircase or a gallery, standard elements of most contemporary chateaux. Also noteworthy are corridors in the basement and on the first floor which run the length of house providing privacy to the rooms they access. Up to the middle of the 17th century, corridors were essentially unknown. Another feature of the plan, the four pavilions, one at each corner of the building, is more conventional.

Vaux-le-Vicomte was originally planned to be constructed in brick and stone, but after the mid-century, as the middle classes began to imitate this style, aristocratic circles began using stone exclusively. Rather late in the design process, Fouquet and Le Vau switched to stone, a decision that may have been influenced by the use of stone at François Mansart's Château de Maisons. The service buildings flanking the large avant-cour to the north of the house remained in brick and stone, and other structures preceding them were in rubble-stone and plaster, a social ranking of building materials that would be common in France for a considerable length of time thereafter.

The main chateau is constructed entirely on a moated platform, reached via two bridges, both aligned with the central axis and placed on the north and south sides. The moat is a picturesque holdover from medieval fortified residences, and is again a feature that Le Vau may have borrowed from Maisons. The moat at Vaux may also have been inspired by the previous chateau on the site, which Le Vau's work replaced.

Gardens

The château rises on an elevated platform in the middle of the woods and marks the border between unequal spaces, each treated in a different way. This effect is more distinctive today, as the woodlands are mature, than it was in the seventeenth century when the site had been farmland, and the plantations were new.

Le Nôtre's garden was the dominant structure of the great complex, stretching nearly a mile and a half (3 km), with a balanced composition of water basins and canals contained in stone curbs, fountains, gravel walks, and patterned parterres that remains more coherent than the vast display Le Nôtre was to create at Versailles.

Le Nôtre created a magnificent scene to be viewed from the house, using the laws of perspective. Le Notre used the natural terrain to his advantage. He placed the canal at the lowest part of the complex, thus hiding it from the main perspectival point of view. Past the canal, the garden ascends a large open lawn and ends with the Hercules column added in the 19th century. Shrubberies provided a picture frame to the garden that also served as a stage for royal fêtes.

From the top of the grand staircase, this gives the impression that the entire garden is revealed in one single glance. Initially, the view consists of symmetrical rows of shrubbery, avenues, fountains, statues, flowers and other pieces developed to imitate nature – these elements exemplify the Baroque desire to mold nature to fit its wishes, thus using nature to imitate nature. The centerpiece is a large reflecting pool flanked by grottos holding statues in their many niches. The grand sloping lawn is not visible until one begins to explore the garden, when the viewer is made aware of the optical elements involved and discovers that the garden is much larger than it looks.