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Danish soldiers in wall paintings in
Elmelunde Church
Møn, Denmark, 15th century.
Massacre of the innocents by Herod the Great.

A larger image of Danish soldiers in wall paintings in Elmelunde Church, Møn, Denmark

Photo by Hans A. Rosbach
Fresco in Elmelunde church on Møn in Denmark.
The church's many well-preserved frescos (Danish: kalkmalerier) cover the Gothic vaulting of the nave and choir. Like the murals in two of Møn's other churches, Keldby and Fanefjord, they were painted in the Gothic style by the so-called Elmelunde Master, probably towards the end of the 15th century. In the so-called Biblia pauperum style, they present many of the most popular stories from the Old and New Testaments.

The paintings were hidden for centuries as, following the reformation, they were covered with layer after layer of limewash. In 1969, the National Museum of Denmark undertook major restoration work on the wall paintings. The vaults were cleaned, earlier restoration work was corrected and new frescos were revealed. The paintings in the nave and choir were discovered in 1885 and initially restored in 1895. During the most recent restoration work, it was found that the church had earlier been decorated with Romanesque frescos, traces of which could be seen on the walls of the nave and on the triumphal arch. However, until now, it has not been possible to restore them.

The most comprehensive wallpainting work was in fact carried out by the Elmelunde Master presenting a variety of scenes from the story of the Creation and the New Testament but also with illustrations of everyday activities such as ploughing and hunting. Between the paintings, margins with frills depicting flowers, plants and other ornaments can be seen. The figures all have sleepy faces, a characteristic of the Elmelund Master. Colours include black, ochre, caput mortuum, and cinnabar which has now faded to verdigris.

See also the Soldiers in a wall painting in Brönnestad Church, Scania, Sweden, c. 1440
Hällestad Church Frescoes, Torna Hällestad, Scania, Sweden, c.1460AD
Other Illustrations of Scandinavian Costume and Soldiers
Other 15th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers