Artibus et Historiae no. 75 (XXXVIII)2017, ISSN 0391-9064
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DOBROSŁAWA HORZELA - Voluntary Poverty and the Relation of Potential Text and Image in the Stained-Glass Cycle of St Alexis in Königsberg in der Neumark (present-day Chojna, Western Pomerania) (pp. 33–49)
The exceptional multiplicity of literary versions of St Alexis’s life-story contrasts with the scarcity of liturgical rites devoted to the saint, dedications of churches and altars, and above all, visual representations. Cycles devoted to the saint are but few and usually limited to a handful of scenes. In this context, the stained-glass cycle consisting of 26 panels with the legend of St Alexis from St Mary’s Church in Königsberg in der Neumark (now Chojna, Poland) is quite exceptional. Confronted with a strong literary tradition and weak visual representation of the life of St Alexis, one ought to ask about the relation between the pictorial cycle and the literary source. What specific circumstances could have contributed to the fact that the story was recorded in the parish church in Königsberg in the form of a unique, monumental stained-glass cycle? What role in the construction of the pictorial narration is played by text-scrolls, which appear in just a few out of over twenty scenes? And finally, how could this story have been perceived by laity in the context of the functioning of sacred space in the fifteenth century?