Insular Art

Insular art, also known as Hiberno-Saxon art, is the style of art produced in the post-Roman history of the British Isles. The term derives from insula, the Latin term for "island"; in this period Great Britain and Ireland shared a largely common style different from that of the rest of Europe. Arts historians usually group insular art as part of the Migration Period art movement as well as Early Medieval Western art, and it is the combination of these two traditions that give the style its special character.

Most Insular art originates from the Irish monasticism of Celtic Christianity, or metalwork for the secular elite, and the period begins around 600 AD with the combining of 'Celtic' styles and Anglo-Saxon (English) styles, in particular the interlace decoration as found at Sutton Hoo, applied to decorating new types of objects mostly copied from the Mediterranean world, above all the codex or book. The finest period of the style was brought to an end by the disruption to monastic centres and aristocratic life of the Viking raids which began in earnest in the late 8th century. These are presumed to have interrupted work on the Book of Kells, and no later Gospel books are as heavily or finely illuminated as the masterpieces of the 8th century. In England the style merged into Anglo-Saxon art around 900, whilst in Ireland the style continued until the 12th century, when it merged into Romanesque art. Ireland, Scotland and the kingdom of Northumbria in northern England are the most important centres, but examples were produced in southern England, Wales and in Continental Europe, especially Gaul (modern France), in centres founded by the Hiberno-Scottish mission and Anglo-Saxon missions. The influence of insular art affected all subsequent European medieval art, especially in the decorative elements of Romanesque and Gothic manuscripts.

Surviving examples of Insular art are mainly illuminated manuscripts, metalwork and carvings in stone, especially stone crosses. Surfaces are highly decorated with intricate patterning, with no attempt to give an impression of depth, volume or recession. The best examples include the Book of Kells, Lindisfarne Gospels, Book of Durrow, brooches such as the Tara Brooch and the Ruthwell Cross. Carpet pages are a characteristic feature of Insular manuscripts, although historiated initials (an Insular invention), canon tables and figurative miniatures, especially Evangelist portraits, are also common.

Read more about Insular ArtUse of The Term, Insular Decoration, Background, Insular Metalwork, Insular Manuscripts, Pictish Standing Stones

Other articles related to "art, insular art, insular":

Gaelic Ireland - Culture and Society - Arts - Visual Art
... Like other kinds of Celtic art, Irish art from about 300 BCE is part of the wider La Tène art style, which developed in west central Europe ... This is known as Insular art or Hiberno-Saxon art, which continued in some form in Ireland until the 12th century, although the Viking invasions ended its "Golden Age" ... Most surviving works of Insular art were either made by monks or made for monasteries, with the exception of Celtic brooches, which were likely made and used by both clergy and laity ...
Carolingian Art - Illuminated Manuscripts
... often including evangelist portraits, and lavish canon tables, following the precedent of the Insular art of Britain and Ireland ... The over-sized and heavily decorated initials of Insular art were adopted, and the historiated initial further developed, with small narrative scenes seen for the first time towards ... jewels set in gold and carved ivory panels, and, as in Insular art, were prestige objects kept in the church or treasury, and a different class of object from the working manuscripts kept in the library ...
Scotland In The Early Middle Ages - Art - Insular Art
... Insular art, or Hiberno-Saxon art, is the name given to the common style produced in Scotland, Britain and Anglo-Saxon England from the 7th century, with the combining of Celtic and Anglo-Saxon forms ... Surviving examples of Insular art are found in metalwork, carving, but mainly in illuminated manuscripts ... Carpet pages are a characteristic feature of Insular manuscripts, although historiated initials (an Insular invention), canon tables and figurative miniatures, especially Evangelist portraits ...
Insular Art - Pictish Standing Stones
... striking in design and construction, carved in the typical Easter Ross style related to that of insular art, though with much less classical influence ... In particular the forms of animals are often closely comparable to those found in Insular manuscripts, where they typically represent the Evangelist's symbols, which may ...

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