Religinių ženklų (ne)dermė XVII amžiaus krosnies puošyboje: Klaipėdos priemiesčio atvejis

Raimonda Nabažaitė


In the Late Medieval and Early Modern period, tile stoves not only heated premises, but alsodecorated the homes of those who could afford them. The scenes and figures depicted on thetiles changed according to the broader changes that took place in culture. Images relevantto the Protestants appeared on tiles in the course of the development of the Reformation inEurope, in addition to religious motifs representing Catholic values. But what can the informationencoded in the decoration of private spaces tell us about the owners’ religious beliefs andmoral values? The article explores the issue by examining the case of a stove made of tiles withambiguous signs: some of them had a meaning in Catholic culture, others spread after theintroduction of Lutheranism, and one tile portrayed an authority relevant to the Anabaptists.Archaeologists have found all these tiles in a closed site on a single plot, a house in a formersuburb of Memel (Klaipėda), which itself (and hence the stove) dates back to the 17th century.Not only were contemporaneous tiles used to build the stove, but tiles with symbols fromprevious periods were also reused. The article provides an interpretation of the contradictoryreligious signs that appeared on a single stove built in a suburb of Memel.

KEY WORDS: Reformation, stove tiles, tile decoration, Catholics, Lutherans, Anabaptists.

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