The paper focuses on medieval wooden sculptures in the 12th and early 13th century in Norway, with preserved original polychromy. The presentation of materials used in the construction, the painting and gilding are based on material analyses. Their application is discussed and compared to those produced in the period that immediately follows. Conclusions reached about the characteristics of this period allow future research to be suggested. It is clear from the evidence gained that both the making and the perception of Catholic church art in medieval Norway was firmly rooted in an established culture consistent with Christian paradigms found in the rest of medieval Europe. The analytical results from the examination of sculpture preserved in Norway are therefore relevant to a wider European context. To what extent medieval sculpture was imported or produced in Norway and by whom is an ongoing discussion. A better knowledge of the sculptural traditions of a wider geographical area will provide the context required to improve our understanding of the cultural exchanges of the medieval period.
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