Article

Anglo-Saxon Art

Catherine E. Karkov

in Medieval Studies

ISBN: 9780195396584
Published online December 2010 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396584-0003
Anglo-Saxon Art

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)
  • Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)
  • Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy
  • Byzantine and Medieval Art (500 CE to 1400)
  • Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology

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Anglo-Saxon art is the art of England between roughly the years 600 and 1100, although dates will vary depending on individual focus. Some scholars prefer to see “Anglo-Saxon” art as something that could exist only from the period of King Alfred in the late 9th century onward; others will see it as something that could not exist after the Norman Conquest of 1066. In both cases the period is defined tacitly by external political events rather than the internal development of the art forms themselves. The term “Insular” is applied to the art of the British Isles and Ireland from the 6th to 8th centuries, but this leads to confusion in discussions of such subjects as Southumbrian art (the art of England south of the Humber River) of the period, or the Lindisfarne Gospels, which are classed both as Anglo-Saxon and Insular. In general, scholarship has now come to recognize that there is no easy way of delimiting the material with any such precision. The study of Anglo-Saxon art, however defined chronologically, has a long history, although until early 21st century theoretical perspectives have been lacking, with most studies focusing on style, medium, iconography, and, less often, patronage. Very few publications take in historiography, and these are noted here where relevant. The study of Anglo-Saxon art remains a conservative field dominated by iconographic and stylistic studies, as well as by approaches that focus on the influence of the Roman or Carolingian worlds on Anglo-Saxon England.

Article.  11305 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500) ; Literary Studies (Early and Medieval) ; Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy ; Byzantine and Medieval Art (500 CE to 1400) ; Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology

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