A Brief History of Celtic Motifs in Art and Design

The Celtic people dominated vast swathes of central and western Europe, including the British Isles, from approximately 650 BC through to the Roman conquest. Experienced metal workers, these people excelled in natural stone carving as well as bronze and gold work. Following the collapse of the Roman Empire during the 5th century, the Celts appeared to be the very first of the barbaric peoples to create comparatively sophisticated artwork influenced by that relating to the ancients, especially Greece, Italy as well as the Eastern world. The particular influence of Celtic art spread right throughout the continent of Europe and for hundreds of years inspired the decorative arts, such as, later on, textile and wallpaper design.

The actual style is recognized by elaborate yet incredibly disciplined linear patterns. As an example, several spiral lines beginning at one position twist together into convoluted runic knots. Creatures, such as birds and reptiles might be elongated nearly beyond recognition as well as intertwined within sinuous forms that are occasionally symmetrical but frequently irregular. Compasswork, likewise, was characteristic of Celtic patterns. The exuberantly decorated letters associated with illuminated manuscripts like the Book of Kells were an additional significant element to do with Celtic art. Subsequent illuminated manuscripts frequently have intricate twisted designs that are very reminiscent of Celtic styles.

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