“It was very natural of me to think of Albertus Pictor’s paintings. He was the famous medieval church painter. There’s a painting of his that depicts Death playing chess with a knight.”

— Ingmar Bergman, on his inspiration for the chess game between death and the knight in the film The Seventh Seal, 1957, Swedish, director, art quotes art

Albertus Pictor, church of Täby in Sweden, death and a knight play chess

The impressive frescoes that cover the walls of the church of Täby in Sweden, are the work of the painter known by the name of Albertus Pictor (c. 1440-1509), meaning Albert the painter.

The construction of the church of Täby, now a suburb of Stockholm, commenced during the 13th century and was completed by the end of it. In the 15th century the wooden ceiling was replaced by vaults that were painted by Albertus Pictor. After the removal of a coating of plaster, his 66 biblical scenes resurfaced when the frescoes were restored in 1993-1994.

The work by Albertus has inspired many artists after him. The most famous image is undoubtedly that of a person playing chess with Death, which inspired Ingmar Bergman, the great Swedish film director, to include a knight (Max von Sydow) playing chess with Death in his film The Seventh Seal (1957). Death asks the knight how it is that he knows that he plays chess. ‘I have seen this in murals,’ the knight answers.  source