Art of the Islands

Celtic, Pictish, Anglo-Saxon and Viking Visual Culture, c. 450-1050

Michelle P. Brown

Art of the Islands

Michelle P. Brown

Distributed for Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

240 pages | 120 color plates | 8 1/4 x 10 | © 2015
Paper $45.00 ISBN: 9781851244461 Published November 2016 For sale in North America only
The Celtic, Pictish, Anglo-Saxon, and Viking peoples who inhabited the British Isles and Ireland from late prehistory to the Normal Conquest left behind a rich visual heritage that continues to be felt today. The traditions of each of these peoples has been studied separately, but rarely has the historical interaction of these cultures been adequately considered.
           
Michelle P. Brown remedies this oversight, presenting an extensively illustrated art historical overview of this formative period in the region’s history. Describing the interactions between the region’s inhabitants, she also explores the formation of national and regional identities. Brown ranges across works as diverse as the Book of Kells, the Tara Brooch, the Aberlemno Stone, the Lindisfarne Gospels, the Alfred Jewel, and the Benedictional of St. Ethelwold, showing how their complex imagery can be best interpreted. She also considers the impact of the art of this period upon the history of art in general, exploring how it has influenced many movements since, from the Carolingian Renaissance and the Romanesque style to the nineteenth-century Arts and Crafts movement.
Contents
Introduction: Art and the islands in historical context
1 Migration and conversion: art in the melting pot, c. 300—700
2 Aspects of Insular art, c.600—850
3 Southumbrian art in the eighth to ninth centuries: expansionism and exoticism
4 The islands after the Viking impact, c.800—1100
5 Later Anglo-Saxon England: art, state and identity, c.950—1050
Epilogue: Enduring influences
Bibliography
Image credits
Index
Review Quotes
Laura Cleaver, Trinity College Dublin
“This book offers an impressively wide ranging, yet accessible, account of the arts of Britain and Ireland in the Early Middle Ages. Drawing upon a rich and diverse body of evidence (which is beautifully illustrated), including famous works and recent finds, it convincingly demonstrates the intellectual and manual creativity of the peoples who lived in the period once known as the ‘Dark Ages’.”
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