Presentation on theme: "Early Christian Ireland 5 th and 6 th centuries. Influence on its development: This was a time of productivity despite many changes. The Irish seem to."— Presentation transcript:
Early Christian Ireland 5 th and 6 th centuries. Influence on its development: This was a time of productivity despite many changes. The Irish seem to have little difficulty in accepting the Christian faith. Ireland remained a land of tiny kingdoms or ‘tuaths’ having occasional arguments. Artists, poets and musicians had high social status. Abbeys became centres of learning and the Early Christian art of Ireland mainly came from them. The Early Christian Faith Influenced: The development of artifacts with its new concepts, symbols and forms. The Celts accepted these and new was added to old. Patterns and designs were added to chalices, books, bells and croziers all of which had a religious significance. Early Christian Faith’s Contribution to Art: Monastic communities lived in settlements made up of huts and a church. Where timber was scarce on the coastline these buildings were made from stone.
Gallarus Oratory, Kerry At first glance it would remind you of an upturned boat. Built of stone, held together without the aid of mortar by a system of corbelling (like Newgrange but more refined) It measures 7m long and 5m high. Its doorway is on the west wall and the window is on the east, obviously above where the altar once stood. The eastern window catches the early sun, similar to Romanesque churches of Europe where the altar always faced east into the rising sun, which symbolised the Resurrection.
Aglish Pillar, Kerry Stone slabs designed with a cross inscribed into them were often placed beside these churches marking the tomb of a holy person. Examples of these slabs are Aiglish Pillar, Kerry, Dunvillaun Slab, Mayo and Fahan Mura Slab, Donegal. Aglish Pillar was probably a tombstone. It has a Greek cross carved into the upper section. Beneath this, Ogham script is carved down both sides of the slab all the way to the ground level.
The Dunvillaun Slab, Co. Mayo It has a design carved on its two main sides. One side has a Greek cross inscribed within a circle similar to the cross on the Aglish Pillar. On the opposite side is a primitive line representation of the Crucifixion. Christ appears as the major figure with an interesting spiral design on his torso. Simplicity still appears to be the key to these Celtic people’s work.
The Fahan Mura Slab (AD 650) This is a further development on the Aiglish and Duvillaun slabs. The surface area of the stone is cut back and a cross emerges in relief from the slab on both the back and front. The Greek cross shape is developed with a shaft of highly decorative, interwoven strap-work. Two simple figures stand at the base, one at each side, of the interwoven cross design. By the 8 th century, the free- standing cross had emerged, yet slabs were still in use.
The Carndonagh Cross, Co. Donegal (AD675) This is a 7 th century cross, one of the earliest examples of a stone cut in the shape of a cross. Though it is a cross shape it is a primitive one. The idea of carving a large stone into the shape of a cross may have developed naturally. Or, on the other hand, the people of that time believed stone had a soul of its own and to interfere with its shape could be dangerous. Strap-work design is used in the decoration of the cross. One side is entirely covered with it. On the other side the strap-work covers an area which takes the form of a Greek cross. On the remainder of this side there is a carving of Christ surrounded by four smaller figures. Under his feet we see three more figures all seven in profile. There are two more figures at either side of the cross.