Anglo-Saxon art

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Anglo-Saxon art covers art produced within the Anglo-Saxon period of English history, beginning with the Migration period style that the Anglo-Saxons brought with them from the continent in the 5th century, and ending in 1066 with the Norman Conquest of a large Anglo-Saxon nation-state whose sophisticated art was influential in much of northern Europe. The two periods of outstanding achievement were the 7th and 8th centuries, with the metalwork and jewellery from Sutton Hoo and a series of magnificent illuminated manuscripts, and the final period after about 950, when there was a revival of English culture after the end of the Viking invasions. By the time of the Conquest the move to the Romanesque style is nearly complete. The important artistic centres, in so far as these can be established, were concentrated in the extremities of England, in Northumbria, especially in the early period, and Wessex and Kent near the south coast.

Anglo-Saxon art survives mostly in illuminated manuscripts, Anglo-Saxon architecture, a number of very fine ivory carvings, and some works in metal and other materials. Opus Anglicanum ("English work") was already recognised as the finest embroidery in Europe, although only a few pieces from the Anglo-Saxon period remain - the Bayeux Tapestry is a rather different sort of embroidery, on a far larger scale. As in most of Europe at the time, metalwork was the most highly-regarded form of art by the Anglo-Saxons, but hardly any survives -...
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