Salin styles

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General term used to describe a series of art styles of the 5th to 7th centuries on northern Europe after they were first described by Bernhard Salin in his work Die altgermanische Thierornamentik, published in 1914. Originally derived from Roman naturalistic animal ornament, the Salin styles are characterized by anthropomorphic designs transformed by German craftsmen into an evolving range of surreal and abstract expressions. Although mainly found on metal work, they also find their way into the stone carvings and manuscript illuminations of Christian craftsmen. Salin style I is of the 5th and 6th centuries ad and features crouching quadrupeds, usually totally disjointed and with the various parts intermixed in a close‐knit pattern. This style is the counterpart of Müller's migration style. Salin style II is 6th and early 7th century in date and has the same beasts elongated into ribbon and tendril designs which are intertwined and interlaced together. In England the animals are etched in double outline and the bodies infilled with dots. This style is well represented on the gold objects from Sutton Hoo. Salin style III emerged in the late 7th and 8th centuries and has a more naturalistic emphasis, but introduces a ferocious gripping beast to many designs. This is what eventually gives way to Viking art styles.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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