Hiberno-Saxon style


Hiberno-Saxon style
Decorative style that resulted when Irish (Hibernian) monks went to England in 635.

It mingled the Celtic decorative tradition
curvilinear and "trumpet" forms, scrolls, spirals, and a double-curve motif
with the interlaced zoomorphic patterns and bright coloration of the pagan Anglo-Saxons. Mediterranean art entered as an element when St. Augustine of Canterbury's mission arrived from Rome, introducing the human figure in art objects, but the style's basic characteristics remained geometric, with interlaced designs and areas of bright colour, as seen in the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Book of Kells. It was taken to Europe by Irish and Saxon Christian missionaries and there exerted strong influence on Carolingian art. See also Anglo-Saxon art.

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art
      in Western visual arts, the decorative vocabulary that resulted from the interaction of the Irish, or Hibernians, and the Anglo-Saxons (Anglo-Saxon art) of southern England during the 7th century.

      Irish monks sailed to northern England in 635, taking with them an ancient Celtic decorative tradition of curvilinear forms: scrolls and spirals, “trumpet” forms, and a double curve, or shield, motif known as a pelta. This abstract ornamental system was seen in their sculpture, in metalwork, and in Irish manuscripts, with their elaborate initials and other decorative embellishments.

      The pagan Anglo-Saxons' art was similarly characterized by abstract patterning, but the ornamental vocabulary differed—interlacing patterns, including elaborate zoomorphic interlace, were common. The Anglo-Saxons had no tradition of painting or calligraphy, but they excelled in metalwork. The rich gold and jeweled examples that survive show their love of metallic brilliance and bright colour.

      Hiberno-Saxon art is characterized by a combination of these two traditions, particularly the Irish curvilinear motifs and elaborated initials and the Saxon zoomorphic interlacings and bright colouring. A third influence was Mediterranean art, which became an important artistic ingredient after St. Augustine's mission arrived from Rome with many manuscripts and other art objects to use in converting the Saxons. This tradition brought with it the representation of the human figure, but the basic characteristics of Hiberno-Saxon art remained those of their pagan ancestors: concern for geometric design rather than naturalistic representation, love of flat areas of colour, and the use of complicated interlace patterns. All these elements can be found in the great manuscripts produced by the Hiberno-Saxon school: the Lindisfarne Gospels (698), the Book of Durrow (second half of the 7th century), and the Book of Kells (c. 800). The Hiberno-Saxon style was imported to the European continent by Irish and Saxon Christian missionaries, and there it exercised much influence, particularly on the art of the Carolingian (Carolingian art) empire.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hiberno-Saxon — /huy berr noh sak seuhn/, adj. 1. having the characteristics of both the Irish and English; Anglo Irish. 2. pertaining to or designating the style of art, esp. of manuscript illumination, developed principally during the 7th and 8th centuries A.D …   Universalium

  • Hiberno-Saxon — /huy berr noh sak seuhn/, adj. 1. having the characteristics of both the Irish and English; Anglo Irish. 2. pertaining to or designating the style of art, esp. of manuscript illumination, developed principally during the 7th and 8th centuries A.D …   Useful english dictionary

  • Saxon — /sak seuhn/, n. 1. a member of a Germanic people in ancient times dwelling near the mouth of the Elbe, a portion of whom invaded and occupied parts of Britain in the 5th and 6th centuries. 2. the Old English dialects of the regions settled by the …   Universalium

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