Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Episode 97: Irish and Celtic Art

Happy St. Patrick's Day one and all! This episode focuses on the rich history of Irish and Celtic art. You may not know this, but there is more to Celtic art than just the color green, leprechauns, and the four leaf clover. Irish and Celtic art is full of intricate patterns and symbols. Its' art tells many wonderful stories and is beautiful in its own unique way.

There are four main identifiable patterns in Insular Art: Spiral, Key, interlace and knot work, and zoomorhic images. You will see these designs in almost all Celtic and Irish art especially in the High Crosses, and Book of Kells.
Zoomorphic Image
Key Design

Spiral Design

Irish Knotwork

 The Irish Trinity Knot has several meaning to many different people. To the Christians, it represents the Godhead: Father, Son and Holy Ghost. To the Pagans, it can represent the three main earthly elements being earth, wind, and fire.

Trinity Knot

 he Claddagh ring has a rich history with a heart warming love story. The heart symbolizes love, the hands symbolize friendship and the crown symbolizes fidelity. This ring has a very specific way of being worn and can identify a persons relationship status.

Claddagh Ring

 These crosses can be up to 20 feet high. They are filled with detailed designs and will be found in many mosque courtyards and cemeteries. They show the intermingling designs of pagan Celtic art and early Christian Insular art.

High Cross of Muiredach

The Book of Kells is perhaps one of the most celebrated books in all of history. It contains hundreds of full-page illuminations which are often painted with gold. It is essentially a book of illustrations. This particular page from the book is the opening page to the gospel of Saint Matthew. It is the initial letters of Christ's name in Greek. This page literally reads: "Now this is how the birth of Christ came about."

Chi-Rho-Iota, from the Book of Kells
Zoomorphic Design
We hope you enjoyed this episode. We will have a Bonus Episode going up next week with Dr. Bule and Courtney Davis from the School of the Arts at UVU with some exciting information about the future of our Art History program! See you next week.

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