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Ondskans ansikte: från brodermord och barnamord i medeltida konst till det onda skildrat av dagens konstnärer
Gotland University, School of the Humanities and Social Science.
2013 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
The face of the evil : Cain’s murder of Abel and the Massacre of the Innocents in Bethlehem in Medieval Art and the Evil painted by Modern Artists (English)
Abstract [en]

The study focuses the evil within human beings and evil actions against other humans and the human kind. The evil is defined as evil actions such as murder and actions in war. The questions asked is whether the evil has a face and if it is possible in that case to paint that kind of face. The medieval mural paintings in old churches include Cain murdering his brother Abel based on the Bible. The study also includes reliefs, sculptures in stone describing Cains´s murder of Abel and sculptures with the Massacre of the Innocents in Bethlehem according to the Bible. These pieces of medieval art are compared with the paintings of evil faces by some modern artists. The method used in the analysis is Panofsky´s iconological method. The result shows that the medieval art is formally more strictly structurer and that the modern artists have a more personal style. In addition to this fact is the different purpose of the different kinds of art. The medieval mural paintings are storytelling from the Bible and modern art is based on influences from other artists in art history and the artists´own ideas and thoughts in a more persoanl way of painting. The meaning in medieval art is more clear and obvious than that in the modern art. The conclusion reached at is that evil exists but that one cannont talk about a special face of the evil.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 43 p.
Keyword [en]
medieval mural painting, reliefs in stone, Cain and Abel, the murder of the children of Bethlehem, modern artist, pictorial story telling
National Category
Art History
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-203492OAI: diva2:636873
Subject / course
Art History (HGO)
Ämneshemsida, Hgo, Visby (Swedish)
Available from: 2013-08-13 Created: 2013-07-13 Last updated: 2013-08-13Bibliographically approved

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Kuylenstierna, Ann
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