The art of the early Insular world (present-day Ireland and Britain) allows a vivid insight into the radical changes, economic, political and social, that marked the region between the 7th and 9th centuries. As a means of studying these issues, the course will concentrate on the applied and public arts of the Insular world, namely: metalwork, manuscripts, carved wood and ivory, as well as stone sculpture. Apart from consideration of the technologies of manufacture and motifs employed in the decoration of these various media, they will also be examined in terms of their iconographic significance, identity (regional and social), and patronage (both ecclesiastical and secular).
Module learning outcomes
an understanding of some of the issues involved in the cultural transmission of the visual languages current in the region;
an understanding of some of the complexities of imagery and meaning in early medieval religious art;
an awareness of the various scholarly approaches to the material and the factors informing them.
% of module mark
Special assessment rules
% of module mark
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Bede, A History of the English Church and People (Penguin Classics)
H.Mayr-Harting, The Coming of Christianity to Anglo-Saxon England (London, 1987)
J.Campbell (ed.), The Anglo-Saxons (London, 1982/1991)
J.Hawkes, The Golden Age of Northumbria (Newcastle upon Tyne, 1996)
D.M.Wilson, Anglo-Saxon Art from the Seventh Century (London, 1984)
L.Webster & J.Backhouse (eds), The Making of England: Anglo-Saxon art and culture AD 600-900 (London, 1991)
L. & M. De Paor, Early Christian Ireland (London, 1978)
S. Youngs (ed.), The Work of Angels (London, 1989)
J. Backhouse, The Lindisfarne Gospels (London, 1989)
B. Meehan, The Book of Durrow (Dublin, 1996)
B. Meehan, The Book of Kells: an illustrated introduction (London & N.Y., 1994)