The article dwells upon the use of ekphrasis in reconstructing the historical background in two Danish historical novels by J. V. Jensen “The King’s Fall” (1901) and H. Stangerup’s “Brother Jacob”. The historical background in both texts is the period of Reformation in Denmark and the reign of King Christian II (1513–1523). The ekphrasis can be seen “a text in the text” (Y. Lotman), and it vividly recalls a picture in the reader’s perception, it can be used as a narrative building block or as a mean of stylization. The historical epoch in Jensen’s novel is represented through the feeling of its spirit as “dance macabre”, descriptions of the dreams and scenes, referred to the pictures of Northern Renascence. H. Stangerup uses the works of art from the same epoch but uses the dialog between the visual art and historical events and characters for building up a Socratic dialog with the reader, allowing to decode the cipher and find the hidden mechanism of the history.