Sven Jakstat

Juan de Roelas, Die Maria Immaculata mit dem Jesuitenpater Fernando de Mata, 1612/13, Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Foto: Volker-H. Schneider

Sven Jakstat


Research Project

The aesthetics of early modern altarpieces in the Iberian Peninsula in the context of the creation of catholic identity

Spanish altarpieces impress with their monumentality and complexity. Mostly they cover the entire wall behind the altar. In elaborate frameworks, which are precisely aligned to the existing church architecture, not only paintings and sculptures, but also different types of images (as e.g. narrative and iconic images) are combined and juxtaposed. By making these kinds of differences and relations visible, altarpieces could convey theological content by way of a conscious perception process. The thus obtained visual effects offer a significant insight in the structures and processes involved in the generation of evidence.

Based on significant examples of the 16th and 17th centuries, it is the principle aim of this study to determine the particular correlation between altarpiece and ritual, such as the celebration of the mass in front of the altar, as well as to investigate the interaction of altarpiece and audience in the church space. Furthermore, the project investigates the question to what extend distinct intentions were connected with the choice of the medium as well as the choice of a particular style.



SSven Jakstat studied Art History and History in Berlin and Madrid. 2008: MA in Art History at the Freie Universität Berlin (Topic of the Master Thesis: “The Immaculata Conceptio in the work of El Greco. Function, meaning and development of a pictorial subject within the historical context of the Catholic Reformation in Spain”). 2009-2012: PhD Scholarship by the Gerda Henkel Stiftung. 2012-2013: Editor at the Goethe-Institut Madrid. 2013-2016: Curatorial Assistant at the Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin for the exhibition “El Siglo de Oro. The Age of Velázquez”. 2013-2014: Assistant Lecturer at the Universität der Künste Berlin. 2016: PhD in Art History at the Freie Universität Berlin (Topic of the PhD: “The altarpieces by Pedro Berruguete and his contemporaries. Function and meaning of the appropriation of foreign visual cultures”). Since August 2016: postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Advances Studies BildEvidenz.

Research Interests

  • Spanish Art History
  • Altarpieces
  • Processes of Transcultural Appropriation


Catalogue entries, in: Exh. Cat.: El Siglo de Oro. The Age of Velázquez, Berlin / München: 2016, pp. 88-89, 92-93, 100-105, 108-109, 126-127, 130-131, 134-135, 158-159, 178-179, 182-185, 188-189, 212-213, 238-241, 244-245, 254-257, 264-265, 292-293 (german: El Siglo de Oro. Die Ära Velázquez)

„Postkartensounds“, in: Exh. Cat.: Cumuli – Zum Sammeln der Dinge / On Collecting Things, Berlin: 2013, S. 32f.



Sven Jakstat

Center for Advanced Studies BildEvidenz

Arnimallee 10
14195 Berlin

Tel.: +49(0)30-838-61431

Homepage at the KHI of the FU