Art from Anglo Saxons Era
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Anglo Saxon Art Facts for Kids

Art from Anglo Saxons Era
Anglo Saxon Art

Anglo-Saxon Art Facts


The Anglo Saxons art marks the art produced during the period of the reign of the Anglo Saxons, that is, from the 5th century till the year 1066. During this entire timeline, there were two periods which witnesses the most outstanding performance of the Anglo Saxons art and culture, that is, the 7th century and the 8th century.

The Anglo Saxons art activities like metal works and jewellery right from Sutton Hoo along with a series of the ancient manuscripts which were illuminated were the ones responsible for the most outstanding achievements. It is also believed that at the year 950, the world witnessed the revival of the ancient Anglo Saxons art at a time after the end of the invasions made by the Vikings.

What was Anglo-Saxon art like?

The Anglo-Saxons were great artists and they made beautiful jewellery, toys and even musical instruments. Jewellery like gold ornaments and metal brooches were the most common ones.

Anglo-Saxon paintings were also exquisite and valuable. The colours used were bright and opulent. Things like gold and other ornaments were also used in the paintings. Early manuscripts reveal the elaborate decorations made by the Anglo-Saxon artists with intricate draperies, hems and golden bar flames.

What was the final and best known work of Anglo-Saxon art?

The Bayeux Tapestry is most commonly accepted by art historians as the best work of the Anglo-Saxon era. The Bayeux Tapestry depicts the events that led up to the Norman conquest and ending at the Battle of Hastings.

Baeyux tapestry
Anglo-Saxon artefact

Anglo Saxons Art History

As per the history of the Anglo Saxons art patterns, metalworks of the Anglo Saxons is considered to be almost the only surviving factor of the art during the Anglo Saxons. These metal works were mostly of the style correlating to the Germans and were placed on the burials. This was during the time before the time of Christianization of the Anglo Saxons in England.

Anglo-Saxon Art Characteristics

Celtic and Anglo Saxons art along with the fusion consisting the Anglo Saxons art of the Germanic style and also many late antique styles all came together after the conversion of the Anglo Saxons in England from Pagan to Christianity, which consumed almost the entirety of the 7th century.

The fall of the Anglo Saxons art and culture along with the society met in the 9th century, which marks the invasions of the Vikings. This marked a huge fall in the concept of the art of the Anglo Saxons.

All most all the monasteries which were present in North England was shut down for a number of decades, if only they were not shut down permanently. The Canterbury Bible, which had its birth before 850, wellbore on itself, “no major illuminated manuscript is known until well on into the tenth century.”

Mainly produced in a number of centres located in the southern part of England and also in the Midlands, was the Winchester School or the style. This is known to mark the final or the last phase of the art produced by the Anglo Saxons.

Anglo Saxons Art and Architecture

The Anglo Saxons were very rich, talented and versatile in terms of the art and the architecture.

Monuments from Anglo Saxon Era

However, the versatility of the Anglo Saxons art is somewhat different and it can cater to any group of people loving art and architecture, even Anglo Saxons art for kids.

The main works of the Anglo Saxons under the art and architecture field are as follows:

  • Illuminated Manuscripts

The initial illuminated manuscripts of the Anglo Saxons formed a part of the Insular art. Insular art is nothing but a combination of art from Celtic, Mediterranean and Germanic.

  • Metal Works

Initially, the metal works of the Anglo Saxons started with animal portraits of kind I and II. However, this later developed and the Anglo Saxons started making human figures in terms of metal works along with the existing animal portraits. The 5th century’s “Quoit Brooch Style” was distinctive metalwork of the Anglo Saxons.

Anglo-saxon art style
Anglo-Saxon art style
  • Wall Painting and Monumental Sculpture

Being a part of the architectural perspective of the Anglo Saxons, the monumental sculptures along with the wall paintings were an example of how their architectural knowledge was apart from the existing churches located in Britain’s Celtic areas. The monuments reflected a sign of low relief but not finished with great precision.

  • Ivory Carvings

The Anglo Saxons another strong architectural aspect is the ivory carvings of many different characters or concepts. It is said that they used to get the ivory for cravings mostly from the animals living in the marine bodies out of which the most important was the walrus.

Anglo-Saxon shield
Anglo-Saxon shield
  • Textile Art

Amongst the whole period of the Anglo Saxons, many textile arts were produced but only a few could be retained after the Anglo Saxons left. There are two extraordinary textile artworks done by the Anglo Saxons which amazed entire Europe. They are “tapestry” and “Opus Anglicanum”.

These are not the only ones amongst the works of the Anglo Saxons in terms of art and architecture. There are a number of more categories under the Anglo Saxons art and architecture. However, these are the ones which are at the peak of art and architecture and the ones responsible to reflect the strength, versatility, etc of the Anglo Saxons background in terms of art and architecture.

Anglo-Saxon sculpture
Anglo-Saxon sculpture

Anglo Saxons kingdoms art world war

The Anglo Saxons kingdoms art world war is the worldwide famous and largest known exhibition held at the British Library totally based on the Anglo Saxons art and literature.

It was an exhibition held from 19th October 2018 to 19th February 2019 where one could witness the rich background of all aspects of the Anglo Saxons art and literature. One could also find values and the answers according to many Anglo Saxons art facts as per their own eye witness.

Anglo Saxons arts and entertainment

As rich as the art and as rich as the entertainment, when it came to art and entertainment, Anglo Saxons were not only great but even versatile. They also used to include the essence of literature on their entertainment by adding musical notes and tunes to poems, etc.

The Anglo Saxons warrior art was a great work done by the Anglo Saxons. Carvings on the wall followed by colouring the same not only reflected the background of art but also reflected the background of entertainment.

Even in today’s world, we find many people printing Anglo Saxons tattoo art. For some, it can be a mere design and for some, it can be an encrypted meaning which not everyone will understand. But both ways, the significance of the Anglo Saxons art does come into play.

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