The Mosvik Crucifix

The Mosvik Crucifix is the model for the altar crucifix for our New St. Olav Cathedral. Many considered it to be the most beautiful example of medieval sculpture to be found in Norway. The original can be seen in "Vitenskapsmuseet" in Trondheim

Art historian Martin Blindheim dates the original to ca. 1250, which places it in the same period as the famous crucifix in Røldal Stave Church. Blindheim's colleague, Peter Anker, considers it most probable that both these crucifixes spring from English sculpture traditions. He claims that English miniatures, dating from the first half of the 13th century, and which incorporate crucifixes, show a striking resemblance to the Mosvik crucifix. Where it was made is unfortunately not established. A copy of the original can be found in Mosvik Church at Inderøy.

Our copy was carved after the Second World War by Jon Suul. He was sheriff in Verdal and a skilled wood carver. He was awarded Iceland's "Order of the Falcon" for his work in an Icelandic school. The crucifix was placed above the altar of St. Olav church in 1952, in connection with the 800-year-celebration for the founding of the Archbishop's See. Many older parishoners still remember it. It was damaged in a fire in the late 1960s and later repaired and repainted in a somewhat unfortunate manner. It will now be subject to a complete professional restauration.

On the original Mosvik crucifix the arms of the cross have been shortened, probably to fit into an altar frame. Jon Suul refashioned the arms of the cross in what many believe may be close to the original.