Wednesday 5th February 2020 – Art of the Islands: An Introduction to Early Medieval Art in Britain and Ireland c. 500-850

Art of the Islands: An Introduction to Early Medieval Art in Britain and Ireland c. 500-850

The Ardagh Chalice
Photograph © National Museum
of Ireland

Wednesday 5th February 2020

Michelle Brown

The different cultures present in these islands before the Norman conquest produced stunning metalwork such as the Sutton Hoo and Staffordshire Hoard, the Ardagh Chalice and the Tara brooch, magnificent manuscripts such as the books of Durrow and Kells and the Lindisfarne Gospels, and sculptures such as the Ruthwell Cross and the enigmatic Pictish carvings.

This illustrated lecture examines the different cultures present in these islands before the Norman conquest – Celtic, Pictish, Anglo-Saxon and Viking – and traces their interaction across the various artistic media, setting them within the historical context. Stunning metalwork, such as the Sutton Hoo and Staffordshire Hoard, the Ardagh Chalice and Tara brooch, magnificent manuscripts such as the books of Durrow and Kells and the Lindisfarne Gospels and sculptures such as the Ruthwell Cross and the enigmatic Pictish carvings are amongst the masterpieces considered.

Michelle holds a BA in History and History of Art, Westfield College, and a PhD in History, UCL.   She is Professor Emerita of Medieval Manuscript Studies, SAS, University of London, Visiting Professor at UCL and Baylor University, and Senior Researcher at the University of Oslo.

She was formerly a Course Tutor in History of the Book (SAS), Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts at the British Library, and lecturer at Birkbeck and Morley Colleges.

Her recent publications include The Book and the Transformation of Britain, c.550-1050 (2011) and Art of the Islands: Celtic, Pictish and Anglo-Saxon Visual Culture (Bodleian, 2016).