The sculptures of the old church in Raahe

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Foreword The town of Raahe was founded in 1649. The construction of the church in Raahe began at the earliest in 1653, and it was inaugurated two years later. The Old Church of Raahe was located on a hill in the northeast corner of the town, where its western tower also served as a navigation mark. The wooden church of Raahe was a longitudinal church typical of the 17th century: The rectangular body of the church had three extensions. There were two vestibules on the southern side of the church and a sacristy on the northern side. The church was covered by a barrel vault and there was a gallery over the entrance. This feature became common in the 17th century. The Old Church of Raahe was the perfect embodiment of the culture and art of the 17th-century Great Power era. The war-filled century brought death close to people’s lives, and noble families wanted to leave to the church mementoes of their greatness by donating art bearing their name. In the 17th century, individual sculptures were no longer donated to churches. They were replaced by winged altars, including an altarpiece surrounded by sculptures. The chancel of the church contained as many as three tall altarpieces and the windows of the nave were decorated with sculptures. In 1884, the Old Church of Raahe was renovated outside and in. The log interiors of the church were lined with boards for the first time and the tall altarpieces were separated into individual sculptures. The colourful sculptures were cleaned and painted, but found unsuitable for the renovated church. In 1908, the church burned down, but the sculptures stored in the belfry were preserved. St Agatha is said to have prevented the wind from turning towards the belfry. In 1912, the sculptures were placed in Raahe Museum. The museum

thus has more than ninety 17th-century wooden sculptures from the Old Church of Raahe. The sculpture collection consists of eight apostles, an orchestra of angels, symbolic animal figures, various window frames, epitaphs, i.e. memorial plaques of families, and pediment illustrations, i.e. frontons. The Christian message of the sculptures no longer touched people in the 19th century. The sculptures were considered only as decorative pieces of the church, and the dramatic idiom of the 17th century seemed inappropriate for the white-walled church. In Protestant countries, church interiors eventually became very simplistic places of worship, where only the altarpiece and priest declare the Christian message. Present-day people need guidance to understand the Christian content and historical significance of the sculptures of the church.

Inga Leppälä 28.05.1997

Michel Sigfredsson Balt The sculptures of the Old Church of Raahe are by Mikael Balt. His origin is debatable. In the documents, he appears as Michel Sigfredsson Balt. Mikael Balt has been considered a Frenchman, but there is no written evidence to back up this piece of folk memory. The only thing known about the early years of Balt is that he arrived in Finland from Sweden around 1650. Henrik Fleming had commissioned a pulpit from Balt for Turku Cathedral. Balt arrived personally from Stockholm to install it. Five years later, the Mayor of Raahe, Henrik Corte, invited Balt to the town to craft a pulpit for the new church. It was completed in the same year of 1655. In 1657, Balt probably decorated the church of Kokkola. He settled in Oulu at the latest in 1658 and married Catharina Casparintytär Forbus (1640–1691). The mayor of Raahe, H. Corte and Balt were married to sisters. Based in Oulu, Balt worked around North Ostrobothnia (Rantsila, Kajaani, Muhos, Saloinen and Pyhäjoki). Mikael Balt worked in the Old Church of Raahe between 1669 and 1673. He died in Oulu in 1676. The three pulpits by Balt in Turku Cathedral (1650), Raahe (1655) and Oulu (1658) greatly influenced the production of pulpits in Western Finland as a whole. After the Turku Cathedral pulpit was destroyed in 1681, several reconstructions of it were made for churches in southern Finland. Balt’s own production has been completely destroyed in the churches or only fragments have been preserved. Only the interior of Raahe’s old church has been preserved almost in its entirety. Art historian Lars Pettersson associated the name of Mikael Balt with the Baltic countries,

but he also suspected Balt to be a Swede because of his good command of Swedish. The Baltic countries and Sweden-Finland had close cultural links in the 17th century. Artists escaped the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648) seeking safety in northern Europe. The saint sculpture of Agatha of the Old Church of Raahe and naming of the Evangelists as holy suggest that Balt would have come from a Catholic country. Balt was probably not from Sweden, because in Sweden-Finland the 17th century was a period of Lutheran purism. One church, one religion supported the king’s power and united the kingdom.

Commemorating the family and decorating the church

Corte had been Mayor of Raahe for 20 years. Henrik Corte lists Per Brahe’s titles and fees in his coat of arms plaque:

The Era of Great Power of Sweden refers to the time period from the Treaty of Stolbovo in 1617 to the Great Northern War (1700-1721). In the 17th century, Finnish affairs were handled by Per Brahe, Governor-General of Finland. Count Per Brahe favoured and supported the rule of the nobility in the kingdom. The noble families who paid for the Swedish wars and performed well in them were rewarded with tax exemption and fees from which they could collect tax revenues for themselves. The nobility became rich at the expense of both the people and state. The wealthy nobility furnished churches and filled their walls with their coats of arms and memorial plaques. In Raahe, the rich bourgeoisie assumed the role of nobility as the decorator of the church.

“In honour of God and for the enjoyment of the congregation, the noble Count and the lord of lords Per Brahe born the Count of Wisingsborg, Baron of Kajaani, Master of Rudboholm, Lindholm, Brahelinna and Bogesund. Lord High Steward of Sweden. Head of the judiciary of Sweden and the Grand Duchy of Finland and their provinces. Lawspeaker of Westmaland, Berglaagen and Dalecarlia. Has appointed the highly esteemed Henrik Corte as the governor and mayor of Raahe and as the police chief of Salo, and who has dedicated this epitaph to the memory of himself and his descendants in the year of our Lord 1670.”

Mikael Balt’s first work in the Old Church of Raahe was a moderately handsome LateRenaissance pulpit in 1655. The white pulpit with gilt decorations bore the Corte coat of arms on the side and an inscription around the edges of the canopy: In honour of God and to decorate His temple, the noble and distinguished Henrik Corte, mayor and man of great power, donated this pulpit as a memorial. Other sculptures paid by influential persons in Raahe were completed between 1669 and 1673.

A similar epitaph lined by angels was paid for by customs supervisor Karl Kranck and alderman Hans Forbus. The epitaphs of the mayor and his subordinates were on opposite walls at the eastern end of the church. Kranck and Forbus state in their epitaph that they framed the side window of the chancel “to the memory of themselves and their descendants” in 1670.

Mayor Henrik Corte’s memorial plaque from 1670 was on the wall of the sacristy on top of a large painting of the Crucifixion. By 1670,

In addition to Mayor Corte’s epitaph praising Per Brahe, they both have their own coat of arms plaques. The letters P:B:C:W come from Per Brahe Comes Wisingsborg. The Brahe coat of arms was on top of the tie beam in the front section of the church. After the 1884 renovation, only the Brahe coat of arms, which later became the coat of arms of the Town of Raahe, and the pulpit out of the sculptures by Balt were left in the church. The Brahe coat of arms illustrated two riders and heraldic lilies. There were two armets with crowns on top of the coat of arms. The pulpit and Brahe coat of arms were destroyed in the church fire in 1908.

Window decorations of the nave

Sculptures of the old church Most of the church sculptures at the Raahe Museum belonged to tall illustrative structures in the front section of the church. The multi-layered pieces on the wall of the sacristy, around the altar window and side window were taken to pieces in 1884. Their main figures were Jesus’ disciples.

The Old Church of Raahe had eight windows, four of which were in the nave. The donors of the window decorations in the nave were tradespeople and aldermen. Two of them were women. Notes made by Raahe’s vicar Stenbäck in the 18th century indicate who donated the sculptures and when. According to Stenbäck, the windows of the nave were framed in 1669 by Henrik Forbus; in 1670 by burgher Henrik Grå; in 1671 by the mayor’s daughter Anna Henriksdotter Corte and her husband, parish scribe Johan Mickelsson (Tamelander); in 1673 by Mickel Bertilsson (Sovio) and his wife Catharina Auctersdotter (Duvel/McDongall) (see photo on p. 23). The names of the window framers are indicated on the wooden pediment plaques, i.e. frontons. Judging by their shape, the frontons have been on top of the four windows in the nave. The years mentioned by Stenbäck are marked in the mouldings that framed the windows.

The iconographic programme of the Old Church of Raahe covers the Christian history of mankind from the original sin of Adam and Eve to the last day of judgment and the sound of trumpets. The story of the human race ends with the resurrection and oneness of God for those who have received the grace of God, i.e. with God in Heaven. The apostles and Evangelists near the altar proclaim God’s message of grace.

Sculpture groups in the eastern end of the church After the Reformation, the main emphasis in the 17th century was on Bible-based church art with the aim of forgetting the legends of saints related to Catholicism. In the Old Church of Raahe, the Evangelists, i.e. the writers of glad tidings, were placed at the altar from where the holy word is proclaimed. The four chief apostles guard the peace of the altar on the side walls of the chancel. Three to four sculpture layers above the apostles can be just barely perceived in a photograph taken before the 1884 church renovation.

Matthew’s shoulder because he begins his Gospel by telling about the birth of Christ as a man and his family tree. Evangelists Luke and John hold in their hands an open New Testament in which their names are written. The Evangelist symbols of Luke and John have gone missing. There was a large bull’s head next to Luke and a sitting eagle next to John. Luke tells about priest Zechariah and the bull sacrifice. John’s symbol is an eagle because he speaks of the ascension of the spirit to the highest heavens.

Evangelists Matthew and Mark

Evangelists at the altar The altarpiece was completed in 1669 and paid for by Mayor Henrik Corte. The altar window was framed by the four Evangelists. On the right side of the altar window stood Mark and on the left stood Matthew. The sculptures were attached to two pillars and Evangelists Luke and John stood on top of them. Between them on top of the altar window was a painting by an unknown artist of the institution of the Eucharist. The apostles and Evangelists can be distinguished with the help of various symbols related to their lives or martyrdom. The photograph taken before the 1884 church renovation still shows all the symbols of the Evangelists in their places. Mark did not get his lion until 1997. Evangelist Mark is portrayed with his writing instruments, as all Evangelists often are. He should be portrayed with a roaring lion next to him. Mark begins his Gospel by talking about a “voice calling in the wilderness” and it is associated with the roaring of a lion. There is a man with wings behind Evangelist

Evangelists John and Luke.

Apostles in the chancel The four chief apostles Peter, Paul, James, and Andrew were on opposite walls in the eastern end. Between Peter and Paul, there was a large painting of the Crucifixion on the wall of the sacristy. Between Apostle James and Apostle Andrew there was a window.

The sacristy sculpture group was donated by Henrik Corte and that of the side window by Karl Kranck and Hans Forbus in 1670. Peter holds in his hands the key of the kingdom of heaven and a book. Paul carries the Bible. The executioner’s sword reminding people of his martyrdom has gone missing. Paul was a citizen of Rome and it was therefore his privilege to be decollated with a sword. The side window of the chancel was framed by the statues of Apostle James the Elder and Apostle Andrew. Apostle James can be recognised from his pilgrimage equipment. He has a hat on his head, a pilgrimage staff in his hand and scallop shells on his chest. The scallop is a symbol of the pilgrims, and James the Elder is their patron saint. The scallop represents baptismal water. Andrew is carrying fish. Andrew was crucified to an Xshaped cross. The arms of the X-shaped cross of the Raahe sculpture have got broken and lost in the past. The height of all three sculpture groups at the eastern end has been as high as 5–6 m according to estimates based on photographs. On the wall of the sacristy was a memorial plaque of the appointment of Corte as mayor above Apostle Peter and Apostle Paul. It was immediately above the large painting of the Crucifixion. Above the mayor’s epitaph, there were two large standing angels. The angels were carrying something above them. The sculptures of the side window donated by Kranck and Forbus are just barely visible in the photograph. The epitaph of Kranck and Forbus was above Andrew and Jacob. The epitaph is surrounded by two large angels and a dolphin sculpture. Above them in the barrel vault was a large angel playing the trumpet, attached to a large wooden panel

framed by the columns. There was still another sculpture of sorts on top of this piece, which was more than one and a half metres tall and wide.

Apostles Peter, Paul, James and Andrew.

Shining sculptures Raahe Museum has three similar sculptures of the same size of St Agatha, Son of Man and Archangel Uriel. The location of the sculptures in the church is unknown. The celestial figures, Son of Man and Archangel Uriel, are framed by a halo with every second beam straight and every second beam wavy. On top of the head of Agatha, an earthly maiden, is the Sun of Jehovah with nine points, on which is the name of the Lord is written in Hebrew.

Saint Agatha Agatha was a beautiful maiden who lived in Sicily in the 200s and had made a vow of virginity to Christ. When Agatha rejected the amorous advances of a Roman consul, the consul began to persecute Christians in

retaliation and tried to force Agatha to his will by torturing her, among other things, by whipping and putting her on a rack. There are several versions of Agatha’s torture. According to one version, Agatha was saved from the stake by an earthquake. The Agatha sculpture of the Old Church of Raahe is probably portraying her at the stake. Agatha kept her faith even when her breasts were cut off. A vision of Peter and angels healed Agatha’s body, but Agatha prayed for death. The Agatha sculpture of Raahe illustrates her with naked breasts while wearing a long green robe. There are Bibles underneath her breasts and milk flows from the breasts into cups beside her feet. In the Bible, milk is a symbol of salvation and the word of God. Agatha has a cross and palm branches in her armpit. In art, Agatha is often illustrated with the palm of victory. After the Reformation of 1514, all images of saints were removed from churches in the Protestant countries of Central Europe. Why was a sculpture of a Catholic saint made for the church in Raahe almost 150 years after the Reformation? Firstly, in Finland, Lutheranism was gradually introduced in the 16th century and hardly any Catholic church art was removed from Finnish churches.

The Agatha sculpture is a good fit for Raahe, as fires were a constant threat to the wooden town. In Catholic countries, people called for Agatha to help against fire. The legend tells how, after Agatha’s death, her silk veil, preserved as a relic, saved the city of Catania from a lava stream of Etna. Agatha was also believed to help against breast diseases. St Agatha was a protector of esteemed professions such as bell-founders and gemstone cutters, but also a protector of childminders, female shepherds and weavers. Later, Agatha particularly became the saint of bakers, because in art Agatha’s breasts were often presented on a plate. Eventually, they were understood as bread, and the churches of Central Europe began to bless bread on her day commemoration day. Such medieval Catholic ceremonies were eliminated from the Lutheran church year starting from the 16th century.

Son of a Man One of the sculptures of the Old Church of Raahe depicts John’s revelation of the Son of Man. The Book of Daniel in the Old Testament is the first to mention the Son of Man. The Son of Man shall come into the world on the last day and take dominion. The writers of the New Testament, i.e. the Evangelists, associate the Son of Man with Jesus.

Raahe surely comes from Martin Luther’s new Bible, illustrated by the German Lucas Cranach. Praying John is also displayed beneath the Son of Man in the piece by the German artist.

The Son of Man sculpture in Raahe has seven stars in the raised right hand and seven candlesticks on the sides of the body. In the Bible, Evangelist John tells about his vision as follows: “And having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was One like the Son of Man, dressed in a long robe, with a golden sash around His chest.... And He held in His right hand seven stars, and His face was like the sun shining at its brightest.” Son of a Man and apostle John.

The body of Christ is framed by a flaming halo and the face by white broad beams. Number seven appears in the Bible more often than other numbers. Seven is the number of completeness and perfection. It is the sum of the Holy Trinity plus the four corners of Earth. John’s revelation explains that the seven candles are a symbol of the seven early Christian churches: “This is the mystery of the seven stars you saw in My right hand and of the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.” The sculpture in Raahe also shows a man crouching at Christ’s feet. The praying figure is the apostle John. The inspiration for the Son of Man sculpture of the Old Church of

Archangel Uriel

Heavenly orchestra The Old Church of Raahe had a number of different angel sculptures. Small angels, less than a metre tall, hold different musical instruments. Two have a harp and one has a violin, which was popular in 17th-century music. The other angels have one or two trumpets in their hands. The Psalms associate the trumpet specifically with the praise of God. Some angels are also holding a palm branch in the other hand as a sign of victory over death. In the Old Testament, the sound of the trumpet is the alarm of battle. According to the Book of Revelation, an angel with a trumpet proclaims the final judgment. When the trumpet sounds, the dead will wake up and they will be assembled before the judgment seat of God. In John’s revelation, the trumpet is sounded by seven angels. The Old Church of Raahe had more angels.

In art, the symbols of the Archangel Uriel are the pilgrim’s dress and scroll. The winged archangel of Raahe wears a long green robe and has an open book in his hands. Archangel Uriel appears precisely in Revelations. A mighty angel comes down from heaven and he had in his hand a little open book (Revelation 10:2). Archangel Uriel is the ruler of the Underworld. Uriel’s task was to guard the tomb of Christ, so he has often been portrayed at Jesus’ empty tomb. On the other hand, Uriel is the master of all heavenly and earthly lights. .

Raahe Museum has two winged angels with their hands behind their ears. They are clearly listening to see if the sound of trumpet can already be heard. John’s Book of Revelation says: Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Fall and forgiveness Adam and Eve The listening angels are wearing crowns: Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown (Revelation 2:10). In addition to the playing small angels, the Old Church of Raahe had larger angels as decorative pieces. All the angel sculptures of the Old Church of Raahe are wearing just a small loincloth. Two wonderful flying angels were on both sides of the coat of arms of Per Brahe in the front section of the church on top of the crossbeam. The angels are flying fast with their legs sticking out and their heads turned backwards. Raahe Museum has two large angel pillars. The angels are holding a plaque on their heads, just like in ancient temples. The angel pillars (18) were probably above the side window in the chancel.

The Adam and Eve figures have their upper bodies exposed at the upper section of a narrow column. Adam and Eve look terrified, as if before the wrath of God. On the other hand, they are already carrying the laurel wreath on their heads as a sign of forgiveness. The victory wreath is a symbol of the new life bestowed by Christ’s redemption work. According to John, the last day of judgment was present every day in the life of a sinner. Adam and Eve were probably at the western end of the church attached to the columns carrying the gallery. The Fall of Man and images of the last day of judgment are usually by the entrance to churches. Thus, the Son of Man and Archangel Uriel sculptures have certainly also been at the western end.

Gargoyle Cats ”Naamakatit”

Below Adam and Eve are two brown heads of a beast. These so-called gargoyle cats are felines that always have their tongue out. Gargoyle cats reminding people of the horrors of hell were placed near the entrance to stone churches in Central Europe. The bottom section of the column features different ornamental carvings.

Adam and Eve.

Hermaphrodites The Old Church of Raahe had a total of ten hermaphrodite figures. The figures are manfaced creatures painted on a narrow board and they clearly have women’s breasts. There were hermaphrodite figures on both sides of the altar window of the Old Church of Raahe. A picture of a hermaphrodite always depicts recovered original oneness, the original completeness of the maternal and paternal life, seen as the expression of divine perfection, from which all internal tensions are absent. Raahe’s hermaphrodite boards are very ornamental. They reflect in part the immateriality of the figures. The figures are profiles without a clear human-like lower body. Legs and arms have become ornaments. The shape of the hermaphrodites derives its origin from the ancient herms whose pedestal sections became volutes during the late Renaissance. In addition to hermaphrodite figures, the windows of the Old Church of Raahe were framed by similar ornamental mouldings consisting of spirals and fans.

Symbolism of animal figures in the Old Church of Raahe Dolphins


Raahe Museum has three dolphin decorative boards. In the coat of arms art, the dolphin was sometimes depicted as having scales. Even in ancient times, the dolphin was depicted with a curved beak and as a neckfinned fish. The museum’s decorative boards show fish creatures that have struck their tails against each other. Above the side window of the chancel decorated by Kranck and Forbus was a dolphin sculpture with a small angel holding a trumpet above it. In Christian art, the dolphin represents Christ as the saviour and bearer of souls of the dead across the water to the beyond.

The iconographic programme of the Old Church of Raahe includes a repeating theme of a pelican feeding its chicks. The pelican is a symbol of self-sacrificing love. The pelican carries fish in the pouch to its chicks and often bends the neck against the chest. This gave the impression that the pelican feeds its chicks with its own blood. The pelican became a symbol of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Pelicans were found in the Old Church of Raahe on the roof of the pulpit and on several mouldings above the heads of the hermaphrodites. In the Lutheran Church, the pelican symbolises the Word and is therefore suitable for the pulpit.

The window mouldings depict four male figures with a scaly tail as their lower body. In classical mythology, the dolphin was the companion of tritons. Tritons were sons of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea.


Dove The Old Church of Raahe had two flying birds painted white. The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. One dove was under the pulpit canopy and the other on top of the Agnus Dei painting.

the sin of the world (John 1:29). The top edge of the painting includes the following text: Ecce agnus dei qui tollit peccata mundi. John’s revelation tells about the Lamb having conquered death and standing on Mount Zion. The coat of arms of Henrik Forbus shows a lamb ascending to a mountain.


Lamb – Agnus Dei

Raahe Museum has an eagle painted on a board with a platform on top. There has been a small winged angel on the platform. The eagle is a feathered creature whose wings have gone missing. In early Christian art, the eagle is a symbol of resurrection. Jewish literature tells about an old eagle leaving its feathers behind and cloaking in new ones. Similarly, the old person disappears in baptism of early Christians to be replaced with a new one. The eagle became the symbol of baptism (Psalm 103:5).

Paintings of the Old Church of Raahe

The Lamb of God relief is in the middle of a wooden plaque two metres wide and tall. The crown-headed lamb is carrying a cross. The lamb is a symbol of Jesus’ sacrificial death. John the Baptist referred to Jesus as the Lamb of God, Agnus Dei, who takes away

Lars Gallenius: On the Road to Emmaus.

The interior of the Old Church of Raahe was typical of the 17th century. The pulpit was positioned against the north wall. In Catholic times, people were not allowed to enter the chancel, but after the Reformation, the relationship between the altar and people became closer. The altar rail was made for enjoying Holy Communion. In the 17th century, the Church leadership of Finland required all churches to have an altarpiece. The Old Church of Raahe had a total of seven paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries. Today, some of the paintings are at the National Museum of Finland and some at Raahe Museum. After the 1884 church renovation, only three paintings were left in the church. On top of the door to the sacristy was a small Russian oil painting depicting the Resurrection of Christ. Diedrich Möllerum painted a large portrait of Martin Luther in 1691. In the background were Martinus Peitzius and his wife portrayed in miniature, as they donated the painting. The altarpiece was the Holy Communion. These three paintings burned with the church in 1908. In 1899, the painting On the Road to Emmaus by Lars Gallenius was given to the National Museum of Finland together with Granberg’s aquarelle paintings the Institution of the Eucharist and the Crucifixion of Christ. Copies of these paintings are displayed at Raahe Museum. The rare subject of the painting On the Road to Emmaus depicts how the resurrected Christ accompanied his disciples on the road to Emmaus. Raahe Museum has two paintings of the Crucifixion, one of which was on the wall of the sacristy and the other on the right side of the altar window (21) before the renovation in 1884. Jehova’s Sun, donated by Johan Karhu (Carlén) and Petteri Kellin in 1733, used to be above the pulpit body. The fourth painting at Raahe Museum

depicts the Man of Sorrows, i.e. Jesus with the crown of thorns. In the altarpieces of the 17th century, paintings were often structurally attached to sculpture frames, but the paintings of the Old Church of Raahe all had their own independent frames. Dating the Crucifixion paintings is difficult because the frames of the paintings have been changed. The earliest painting donated to the church is On the Road to Emmaus from 1684. The Crucifixion painting, which was in between the sculptures of Peter and Paul, was dated to 1702. It would therefore not have originally belonged to the sculpture group on the sacristy wall donated by Mayor Corte. The altarpiece was most likely painted by Diedrich Möllerum in the same year of 1691 as the Luther’s portrait.

The Man of Sorrows.

A speciality of the Old Church of Raahe was a family tree painting with the names of 114 Scottish kings. The family tree has been at the National Museum of Finland since 1893. One of Forbus’ ancestors originated from Scotland.

Style history of the sculptures of the Old Church of Raahe

The Old Church of Raahe was full of winged angel heads and small angels. They were an integral part of the Baroque art of the 17th century. In the coats of arms and epitaphs, the bodies of the angels are in a very twisted position. The twisted body, corpus serpentina, was the ideal of the exaggerating Mannerism art when moving away from the 16th century Renaissance to the 17th century Baroque era.

The windows of the old wooden church of Raahe were framed with ornamental mouldings in a manner typical of the Great Power era. In the 17th century, altarpieces had architectural frames: often paired columns supporting the entablature. The church sculptures of Raahe Museum are framed by columns and decorative mouldings. The church sculpture of the 17th century is characterised by rich volute ornamentation, spiral columns, volutes and consoles. Raahe Museum does not have spiral columns, but a vine wrapped around some columns creates the spiral impression.

At the turn of the 17th century, the clear shapes and straight lines of the Renaissance began to be broken. The frontons that were on top of the windows in the nave of the Old Church of Raahe are triangular plaques with a wavy moulding on the top edge. In the Baroque style, the mouldings have been cut at the top.

The mouldings are volute surges ending in flattened spirals. They were very typical of the late Renaissance and Baroque era. The consoles under the sculpture groups have sculpted and painted diamond rectangles, true to the illusory style of Baroque. Baroque sculptures are characterised by strong colour contrasts: red, green and blue. In 1884, the sculptures were repainted with the same colours, but instead of the previous matt surface, the sculptures received a latex-like polish.

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