North & South.
Mediaeval Art of Norway and Catalonia 1100-1350
Between the 12th and 14th centuries, all of Western Europe formed part of a single Church. The beliefs, liturgy and images were the same. In terms of religious art, there were no defined borders between states; a Catalan traveller in Norway, or a Polish one in Portugal, could follow Mass without difficulty in any church in these far-off countries.
Why, then, does the history of art often discuss the differences between mediaeval art in France, Germany or Italy? This is largely because liturgical furniture dating from between 1100 and 1350, which demonstrated this essential unity so well, has all but disappeared from Central European regions. Only two regions have conserved it in abundance: Norway and Catalonia.
This exhibition brings together, for the first time, a selection of examples of mediaeval altar art from these two regions at the northern and southern edge of the continent, respectively, three thousand kilometres apart from each other. These objects do not only highlight the rich heritage of Norway and Catalonia, but also, and above all, they bear witness to a common artistic and spiritual landscape in mediaeval Europe.