Anglo-Saxon art


Anglo-Saxon art

Painting, sculpture, and architecture produced in Britain from the late 5th century to the Norman Conquest. Before the 9th century, manuscript illumination was the predominant art form, with two schools: Canterbury produced works in the Classical tradition brought by Roman missionaries; a more influential school in Northumbria produced works inspired by the revival of learning encouraged by Irish missionaries. The curvilinear forms, spirals, and interlaced patterns of the Celtic tradition brought by Irish monks were integrated with the abstract ornamentation and bright colors of the Anglo-Saxon metalwork tradition. After the destructive effects of the 9th-century Danish invasions, the monasteries were revived and interest in architecture developed. Building activity consisted of small churches influenced by continental types, notably from Norman France (e.g., the original Westminster Abbey, c. 1045–50, rebuilt 1245). The monastic revival resulted in the production of many books and the formation of the Winchester school of illumination (late 10th century). See also Hiberno-Saxon style.

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