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Anglo-Saxon artistic styles

  • Winchester style - one of the defining features of 10th century Anglo-Saxon art, this made extensive use of interweaving plant motifs, with vine-scrolls and acanthus leaves. The style was closely linked with centres of reformed Benedictine monasticism.

Benedictional of Aethelwold - baptism of Christ.jpg

Scandinavian artistic styles

Scandinavian art saw a number of distinct styles evolve across our period:

  • Oseberg – evolved from Vendel styles, used in the 9th century, its most characteristic motif is the ‘gripping beast’.


  • Borre – evolved at the latest c. 850 and was still used in the late 10th century, its most characteristic motif is the so-called "ring braid", a symmetrical braiding with two bands, held together by rings that are surrounded by square figures.


  • Jelling10th century, characterized by markedly stylized and often band-shaped bodies of animals.

Jellinge 1.png Jellinge 2.png

  • Mammen – late 10th century and early 11th century. Animal representations have a more realistic style and plant motifs are introduced.


  • Ringerike – late 10th and 11th century, commonly using lions, birds, band-shaped animals and spirals, and introducing different types of crosses, palmettes and pretzel-shaped nooses that tie together two motifs for the first time. Ringerike motifs are often paralleled in Anglo-Saxon and Ottonian art.


  • Urnes - second half of the 11th century and early 12th century, characterized by slim and stylized animals that are interwoven into tight patterns. The animals’ heads are seen in profile, they have slender almond-shaped eyes and there are upwardly curled appendages on the noses and the necks.

Urnes stave church.jpg

Pages in category ‘Styles’

This category contains only the following page.