Celtic and Medieval art

From pre-history to the late Middle Ages

Celtic art survived mainly by (1) masquerading as carved swirls and decorations on the "Celtic Crosses" peppering medieval cemeteries, and (2) shrinking down to decorate the margins of Bibles and Gospels with colorful images, illustrations as illuminated manuscripts during the Dark and Middle Ages.

Great Examples of Celtic and Medeival art in England

  • Wilton Diptych, National Gallery, London. The first truly important British painting, crafted in the late 1390s by an unknown artist who mixed Italian and Northern European influences.
  • Lindisfarne Gospels, British Library, London. One of Europe's greatest 7th century illuminated manuscripts.
  • Matthew Paris (died 1259). Benedictine monk who used his significant artistic gifts as the official St. Albans Abbey chronicler, illuminating his own writings, now in the British Library, London and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.