Wednesday, 10 April 2019

5th year - notes on LA TENE (for 2011 art history essay)

Wed. 10th April.


Fifth years please use the notes below to answer part B (on la tene style) of the recent 2011 art history question (scroll down to find the question).  This has to be submitted on Friday.




La Tene –

·                      By the mid fifth century the centre of power and wealth in Europe had moved northwards and westwards to the Rhineland and next to the areas of present day France.
·                      This was where the La Tene culture came into being because some of the Celtic people came from an area known as La Tene in Switzerland.  It was part of the celtic culture to throw objects into lakes as a ceremonial offering and la tene is a prime example of a European celtic site, with great deposits of weapons and other objects found in the lake.
·                      This culture reached far beyond la Tene.  It had contact with many areas, such as the Mediterranean and the East.  This contact is reflected in the style of the artwork associated with this time.  The art form was varied but repetitive and very decorative.  Motifs were borrowed from Eastern and Greek ideas with special emphasis on plant forms such as the honeysuckle, and these, together with flowing tendrils, were blended into a distinctive style of abstract and curvilinear patterns.
·                      This style, which developed in central Europe around 300 BC was know as the waldalgesheim style and it was an offshoot of this which reached Ireland.
·                      Iron was commonly used at the time for implements and weapons.  Bronze was used more for ornamental objects.  Gold was also used for ornament.
·                      It is not certain when and where the celtic peoples first came to Ireland.  It is believed to have been around the first century AD.



Extra Notes on La Tene.....


La Tene Style:


By the 5th century BC a new style of Celtic Art had developed.  It combined influences from classical Greek and Roman art, the Etruscans, the Scythians and Oriental Art with the Celtic Style.  This style is called la Tene after a site on the shores of Lake Neuchatel in Switzerland where the diagnostic examples were found.  This new style combined leafy palmate forms with vines, tendrils, lotus flowers, spirals, scrolls, lyre and trumpet shapes into a sinuous, abstract style which the Celts used to decorate ornaments and weapons.  The migrations and invasions of the Celtic peoples throughout Europe in the 5th and 4th centuries BC helped to spread the style.  By the 3rd century BC, La Tene art was evident in Ireland, initially i the form of imports.  Gold collars found in Co.Roscommon, scabbard plates found in north-east Ulster and a sword hilt in the shape of a human figure found in the sea at Ballyshannan were all probably imported from Europe.  These finds of weapons and valuables in rivers, lakes and at the seashore speak of rituals and offerings among the Celtic people associated with water. (the legend of  King Arthur, for eg, contains a story of a sword being thrown into a lake following the death of a warrior returning the power associated with it to the other world)


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