978-0-670-72652-3 / 9780670726523

Treasures of Ireland (A Studio book)





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About the book:

The first evidence of a consciously artistic nature in Ireland dates from the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods. From that time a tradition began which can be traced to the flowering of Irish art in the enormously rich an justly celebrated early Christian period from the arrival of St. Patrick in the mid-fifth century to the war and subsequent disruption of the Viking invasions four hundred years later. The decline which ensued was later followed by a cultural mingling of the Scandinavian and Irish traditions, and much of the remarkable renaissance of Irish art in the eleventh and twelfth centuries shows Irish adaptations of Scandinavian style. However, with the Anglo-Norman invasion from Britain toward the end of the twelfth century, the long independent Irish artistic traditions may be said to have come to an end. This book chronicles in text and pictures the surviving artifacts on which our knowledge of 3500 years of an evolving artistic tradition is based. Although Ireland is an island lying off the extreme west of Europe, Irish art at no time exhibits the narrow insularity whih might be expected to result from such geographical isolation. While developing , in both prehistoric and historic times, its own interior lines of evolution, Irish art remained an integral part of the European tradition in existence at any particular epoch, although the individual sources from which it drew inspiration varied from one period to another. This inspiration from abroad, however, rarely entailed merely the adoption of an alien idiom. The native tradition generally proved vigorous enough to shape the development of the new styles and new ideas into something with a character peculiarly and unmistakably Irish.

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