The Lutheran Church in Rodowo as a Place of the Spiritual Meeting of Three Social Strata
The article presents the hitherto unknown decoration of the furnishing of a little Protestant church in Rodowo in Ducal Prussia, founded by the local aristocratic family of
the Schack von Wittenaus. After firstly providing an overview of the complicated confessional history of the region, the church, and its patrons, the second part of this article presents the emblematic decoration of church benches based on the “Four Elements,” with models for tapestries designed by Charles Le Brun and published in Paris in 1668 (and later in Germany). The original emblems, with descriptions by Charles Perrault, refer to King Louis XVI as the ideal ruler, but in Rodowo they emphasize the position of the Prussian nobility as the most important social group in the country. The second part of the article presents four unknown easel paintings on the church walls, with a symbolic presentation of Lutheran piety connected with Pietism in Ducal Prussia. The entire artistic ensemble in the church refers to the role of noblemen as leaders in the social and religious life of Ducal Prussia.