Art history notes

IRISH ART SECTION:
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1. The Stone Age:


The Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age

Most art in pre – Christian Ireland is abstract.  It reflected the technical, social and intellectual developments of the time.  The pace of change in art and technology was slow at first; it took 5,000 years from the arrival of the first stone age people for metal technology to be developed in Ireland with the introduction of copper and bronze.  It took 1.500 years for iron technology to arrive and 500 more years for the major social and intellectual changes that came with Christianity. 

The Stone Age (7000 BC to 2000 BC)

Human settlement began in Ireland around 7000 BC, during the Mesolithic or middle stone Age. The earliest people were hunter gatherers, they probably crossed by boat from Britain at a spot where the Irish sea was narrow enough to enable them to see the coast of Ireland in the distance.  The forests and rivers of Ireland would have made rich hunting grounds for these people, who would have moved with the seasons to where food was most plentiful.

During the Neolithic or New Stone age (3700 to 2000 BC), farming and animal rearing people settled in Ireland, clearing forests to plant crops and fencing off areas of land to control domestic animals.  There is evidence of permanent communities all over Ireland and contacts from Britain and Europe.  These were the people who built the Megalithic structures we can still see today. 

Stone Age Structures (architecture)
The works of art and construction that survive from the Stone age are generally associated with ritual sites and places of importance to these first Irish people.  Little evidence of their everyday lives or language survives, but we can find remains of the tombs they built to revere their dead.  These early farmers brought seeds for crops and domestic animals to Ireland and had developed skills beyond the simple hunting and gathering society that first lived there.  They had enough spare time to think out, plan and build large structures, which can still dominate their local landscape.  This megalithic people (from the Greek words mega ;meaning large, and lithos meaning stone) used large stone to build their tombs.


Stone Age Technology
Wood and stone were the only materials available for building and making tools and weapons during the stone age.  Some hard stones could be broken and shaped to produce sharp edges that could be used as knives, scrapers, chisels, axes spearheads and arrowheads.  Experiments with stone age tools have shown that they were surprisingly effective in spite of their crude appearance.  An arrowhead embedded in part of a human pelvis was found during excavations at Poulnabrone in Co.Clare, demonstrating the power of a stone age bow and the sharpness of a stone arrowhead.  Axes for felling trees and chopping wood were made by tying carefully shaped and polished stone axe heads onto wooden handles.  Wood was used to make tools for digging and ploughing and some vessles were made of wood.  Clay was dug and built into a variety of simple pots, which were probably fired on an open fire.  Domestic buildings were generally round in plan and probably made with stone, wood, and mud with thatched roofs.  Stones for large structures would have been moved by dragging and levering and possibly using logs as rollers to ease the progress of the largest stones.  Beasts of burden and the wheel were not yet available.

Mesolithic period
  • The first human settlers came to Ireland around 1700 BC & this was known as the middle Stone Age or Mesolithic period.
  •  They were hunters and depended totally on hunting for food
  • They settled near rivers (catch fish, water etc).

The Neolithic period
  • This was the next period that followed and a time when many changes took place
Eg: 1) the development of food- producing methods like harvesting of crops & breeding animals. 2) the landscape of Ireland changed greatly too, with less forests  and land divided into fields, communities where people lived.


The Megalithic period
  • They made amazing huge stone burial monuments.  These were resting places for the dead but also stood as symbols of power.
  • The three types of megalithic tombs 1) portal dolmens 2) the court cairn 3) passage graves.


1)      Portal Dolmens:
·         Simple structure
·         Examples are found in Ardara, Co.Donegal & the Burren, Co.Clare
·         There are roughly 170 around Ireland
·         Design is based on a tripod – two large standing stones and a lower back stone support a large roof stone above the entrance.  Single slabs rest against the side and back stones, forming the side chamber. 
Portal Dolmen


2) Court Cairns
·         The first ones to be made.
·         Are recognized for their U shaped courtyard without a roof which is set in front of stones sticking out like doorjambs.
·         Usually a long triangular shape with the court occupying one end.
·         Eg’s found at Creevykeep in Co. Sligo.
·         Their function was a court for some kind of ritual & a gallery to serve the tomb.
Court Cairn


3) Passage Graves
·         Newgrange is an example of this
·         There is art work on it in the form of ornamented stones.
·         There are designs of whirls and circles and abstract repeating patterns on the stone, no-one knows what the meaning of this is.
·         These designs & patterns may have religious meaning or may have acted as a type of calendar or astrological guide.
Passage Grave


_______________________________________________________________________


Newgrange


The most famous of the Boyne valley moulds is noted for the roof box over its entrance, which allows sun to shine down the 18.7 m long passage into the furthest recesses of the chamber each year on the 21st of December.  The passage is formed by upright stones with lintels on top, some of which are decorated.  Between the first and second roof slabs of the passage, over the entrance, is a rectangular opening built in stone, which forms the roof box.  The upper lintel stone of this opening is carved with triangles, which create a pattern of raised X shapes separated by vertical lines.  The chamber at the end of the passage is roughly 6 m in diameter and 6 m tall.  It has three recesses, which create a cruciform plan like the east passage of Knowth.

Newgrange was built around 3200 Bc.  It was excavated from 1967 to 1975, when it was reconstructed into the shape that we see today.  The wall of white quartz came from Co. Wicklow and the granite beach stones came from Dundalk Bay in Co.Louth.  They were arranged in this way on the instructions of the Professor Michael J O Kelly, the chief archeologist, who imagined, based on his research, that the mound had been built like that when it was first constructed.  Ninety – seven kerbstones surround the base of the mound.  Many have fully decorated stones, such as the curvilinear patterned entrance stone and kerbstone 52 on the opposite side of the mound.  There is a further circle of monoliths at a distance of about 15 m out from the kerbstones.  Only 12 undecorated stones remain standing, out of the original 32.  This ring of standing stones may not be contemporary with the mound.


Construction

The building of these large structures was an heroic task for people of the stone age.  Their technology was limited to what they could carry, pull or lever into place, they had no beasts of burden and the wheel was not yet invented.  They had to move large stones up to 5 tons in weight across the country, which may have still been forested.  It has been established that it might have taken up to 80 men three weeks to pull one large stone the 15km from the quarry at Tullyallen up to Knowth.  At this pace, it may have taken 50 years to build one mound.  Construction probably began with the layout of the passages, as their orientation to the sun or moonlight was an essential part of the purpose of the structure.  The line of the kerb would need to be laid out early on, as it was the retaining structure for the stones, sod and earth that made up the body of the mound.


Corbelling

The corbelled roof over the chamber might have been  constructed as they level of the mound built up, allowing access to gradually higher levels.  These corbelled chambers are the oldest roofed stuctures still standing in Western Europe.  The vaults were built on the standing stones of the chamber in gradually decreasing circles of large flat stones, sloping  slightly outwards.  At Newgrange, grooves were cut in the top surface of the stones to help shed any water that might have percolated down into the mound.  This outward lean of the stones would also help to distribute the weight away from the centre, minimizing the risk of collapse of the completed dome or vault.


Decoration

The range of designs used by stone age artists is quite limited.  They consist of circles, dotes in circles, spirals, serpentiforms, arcs, radials (star shapes) zigzags, chevrons, lozenges (diamond shapes) parallel lines and offsets of comb devices.  All the shapes are drawn freehand and are abstract, but they may have held some meaning for the people who made them.  At Knowth, we find the greatest number of decorated stones, making up about half of all the stone age art in Ireland.  Many of the 127 stones in the kerb are elaborately patterned.  Kerbstone 15, which looks like a sundial, can be interpreted as a lunar calendar recording the phases of the moon.  Kerbstone 78, which is also supposed to refer to the phases of the moon, has a range of designs quite different from kerbstone 15.  Wavy lines and circles dominate the pattern, which flows over the whole surface of the stone.  At Newgrange, the entrance stone is covered in curvilinear pattern which emphasizes the size of the stone.  A groove at the top centre lines up with the entrance and roof box, left of the groove is a triple spiral and beyond this a wave pattern that connects back to the right hand end of the stone.

Kerbstone 52 on the opposite side of the mound has an even more varied range of patterns covering most of its surface.



Techniques

(Most of the stones of Knowth and Newgrange) a hammer driven stone chisel was used to remove rough areas and to take away a thin layer of stone and improve its colour.  The lines and patterns on the stones are made by chip carving, cutting into the stone with a sharp flint or other hand stone tool or by picking or pecking with a stone chisel or point driven by a hammer.  On the surface of the stones, marks may have been smoothed out by hammering or rubbing with coarse textured stone.


Interpretation

Passage mounds seem to be much more than graves for revered ancestors.  The sheer scale of commitment from the stone age people who spend generations constructing them must have made them the most important endeavour in the lives of the community.  They were the largest structures in the country for thousands of years. In later generations, the mounds were thought to be the burial places of ancient kings.  The number of cremated remains inside the passage mound is relatively small in relation to the size of the community and the length of time for which the mounds were used. However, his might mean that only very special members of the community were buried there or that they were ritual or sacrificial burials.

There is a growing body of support for the theory that designs on the stones relate to movements of the sun, moon and the planets, which would be a way of keeping track of the seasons and important community events.  Kerbstones at Knowth in particular can be interpreted as recording lunar events and patterns,  The passages at Knowth received the light of the rising and setting sun at the equinoxes in March and October, which are important seasons for planting and harvesting in a farming community.  At Newgrange, the light of sunrise of the solstice (21 Dec), the shortest day of the year, may have celebrated the death of the old year and the birth of the new.  Other passage mounds also received the light of the sun or the moon at significant seasons and are the focus of ongoing research.

Rituals and ceremonies might have been held in procession around the mounds, stopping significant stones relevant to the season.  There are areas outside the east and west entrances at Knowth that are paved with Quartz and granite stones like those on the front of the mound at Newgrange.  These areas may have been the focus of ceremonies of they might have marked forbidden areas.  Whatever their function, these stones had to be transported by boat of raft from far away.


Conlusion

The ancient mounds have a long history and their construction speaks of an intelligent and inventive people, deeply motivated over generations to construct the largest structures of their time.  Newgrange represents the pinnacle of wood and stone technology and freehand abstract design.   Their art was the result of carefully planned and often repeated images, which took time and effort to construct and must have had deep significance for the artists.  It seems likely that the imags are more than random doodles, but we know so little about the lives and language of these early people that we can only guess at the meaning.




Winter Solstice (sunlight in the chamber) & the Roof box – This was discovered during an excavation in 1963.  The box is above the entrance and four minutes after sunrise on 21 December the sun shines through the gap in the roof box along the passage and reaching the floor of the chamber, which lights up the inside, showing up the decorations and details carved into the stones on the walls as well as the roof.  The light then narrows and disappears after about 17minutes.





The Entrance stone and Kerbstones –
·         A ring of 97 big kerbstones surround the mound.  Some are decorated,  the entrance stone is the most impressive with its spirals.
·         Nobody knows the meaning of these spirals.
·         Kerbstone 52 is also richly decorated and is at the back of the mound and lines up directly with the entrance stone.
Corbelled Roof –
  • Chamber is 19metres long with 22 standing stones along the left and 21 on the right.  The stones are decorated.
  • The first part of passage is roofed by 3 large slabs.  After this the roof is Corbelled, which means the slabs are placed on top of eachother and there is a gradual rise in height.
  • The corbelled vault is one of the finest kind in western Europe.

Basin Stones –
  • Found in the chamber at newgrange they are large stones with a sunken in shape in the centre and were probably used to hold bones.
  • Newgrange was used as a burial place.
  • The art on the stones still remains a mystery.
Aerial view of Newgrange

Entrance stone & roof box

Corbelled roof

Decoration: Spirals on stones


Newgrange extra notes:
The most famous of the Boyne valley moulds is noted for the roof box over its entrance, which allows sun to shine down the 18.7 m long passage into the furthest recesses of the chamber each year on the 21st of December.  The passage is formed by upright stones with lintels on top, some of which are decorated.  Between the first and second roof slabs of the passage, over the entrance, is a rectangular opening built in stone, which forms the roof box.  The upper lintel stone of this opening is carved with triangles, which create a pattern of raised X shapes separated by vertical lines.  The chamber at the end of the passage is roughly 6 m in diameter and 6 m tall.  It has three recesses, which create a cruciform plan like the east passage of Knowth.
Newgrange was built around 3200 Bc.  It was excavated from 1967 to 1975, when it was reconstructed into the shape that we see today.  The wall of white quartz came from Co. Wicklow and the granite beach stones came from Dundalk Bay in Co.Louth.  They were arranged in this way on the instructions of the Professor Michael J O Kelly, the chief archeologist, who imagined, based on his research, that the mound had been built like that when it was first constructed.  Ninety – seven kerbstones surround the base of the mound.  Many have fully decorated stones, such as the curvilinear patterned entrance stone and kerbstone 52 on the opposite side of the mound.  There is a further circle of monoliths at a distance of about 15 m out from the kerbstones.  Only 12 undecorated stones remain standing, out of the original 32.  This ring of standing stones may not be contemporary with the mound.

Construction
The building of these large structures was an heroic task for people of the stone age.  Their technology was limited to what they could carry, pull or lever into place, they had no beasts of burden and the wheel was not yet invented.  They had to move large stones up to 5 tons in weight across the country, which may have still been forested.  It has been established that it might have taken up to 80 men three weeks to pull one large stone the 15km from the quarry at Tullyallen up to Knowth.  At this pace, it may have taken 50 years to build one mound.  Construction probably began with the layout of the passages, as their orientation to the sun or moonlight was an essential part of the purpose of the structure.  The line of the kerb would need to be laid out early on, as it was the retaining structure for the stones, sod and earth that made up the body of the mound.

Corbelling
The corbelled roof over the chamber might have been  constructed as they level of the mound built up, allowing access to gradually higher levels.  These corbelled chambers are the oldest roofed stuctures still standing in Western Europe.  The vaults were built on the standing stones of the chamber in gradually decreasing circles of large flat stones, sloping  slightly outwards.  At Newgrange, grooves were cut in the top surface of the stones to help shed any water that might have percolated down into the mound.  This outward lean of the stones would also help to distribute the weight away from the centre, minimizing the risk of collapse of the completed dome or vault.

Decoration
The range of designs used by stone age artists is quite limited.  They consist of circles, dotes in circles, spirals, serpentiforms, arcs, radials (star shapes) zigzags, chevrons, lozenges (diamond shapes) parallel lines and offsets of comb devices.  All the shapes are drawn freehand and are abstract, but they may have held some meaning for the people who made them.  At Knowth, we find the greatest number of decorated stones, making up about half of all the stone age art in Ireland.  Many of the 127 stones in the kerb are elaborately patterned.  Kerbstone 15, which looks like a sundial, can be interpreted as a lunar calendar recording the phases of the moon.  Kerbstone 78, which is also supposed to refer to the phases of the moon, has a range of designs quite different from kerbstone 15.  Wavy lines and circles dominate the pattern, which flows over the whole surface of the stone.  At Newgrange, the entrance stone is covered in curvilinear pattern which emphasizes the size of the stone.  A groove at the top centre lines up with the entrance and roof box, left of the groove is a triple spiral and beyond this a wave pattern that connects back to the right hand end of the stone.
Kerbstone 52 on the opposite side of the mound has an even more varied range of patterns covering most of its surface.


Techniques
(Most of the stones of Knowth and Newgrange) a hammer driven stone chisel was used to remove rough areas and to take away a thin layer of stone and improve its colour.  The lines and patterns on the stones are made by chip carving, cutting into the stone with a sharp flint or other hand stone tool or by picking or pecking with a stone chisel or point driven by a hammer.  On the surface of the stones, marks may have been smoothed out by hammering or rubbing with coarse textured stone.

Interpretation
Passage mounds seem to be much more than graves for revered ancestors.  The sheer scale of commitment from the stone age people who spend generations constructing them must have made them the most important endeavour in the lives of the community.  They were the largest structures in the country for thousands of years. In later generations, the mounds were thought to be the burial places of ancient kings.  The number of cremated remains inside the passage mound is relatively small in relation to the size of the community and the length of time for which the mounds were used. However, his might mean that only very special members of the community were buried there or that they were ritual or sacrificial burials.
There is a growing body of support for the theory that designs on the stones relate to movements of the sun, moon and the planets, which would be a way of keeping track of the seasons and important community events.  Kerbstones at Knowth in particular can be interpreted as recording lunar events and patterns,  The passages at Knowth received the light of the rising and setting sun at the equinoxes in March and October, which are important seasons for planting and harvesting in a farming community.  At Newgrange, the light of sunrise of the solstice (21 Dec), the shortest day of the year, may have celebrated the death of the old year and the birth of the new.  Other passage mounds also received the light of the sun or the moon at significant seasons and are the focus of ongoing research.
Rituals and ceremonies might have been held in procession around the mounds, stopping significant stones relevant to the season.  There are areas outside the east and west entrances at Knowth that are paved with Quartz and granite stones like those on the front of the mound at Newgrange.  These areas may have been the focus of ceremonies of they might have marked forbidden areas.  Whatever their function, these stones had to be transported by boat of raft from far away.

Conlusion
The ancient mounds have a long history and their construction speaks of an intelligent and inventive people, deeply motivated over generations to construct the largest structures of their time.  Newgrange represents the pinnacle of wood and stone technology and freehand abstract design.   Their art was the result of carefully planned and often repeated images, which took time and effort to construct and must have had deep significance for the artists.  It seems likely that the imags are more than random doodles, but we know so little about the lives and language of these early people that we can only guess at the meaning.

________________________________________________________________________


2. The Bronze Age

The Bronze Age (2000 BC – 500BC)

The changes that marked the arrival of a new culture in Ireland began in the north and east of the country.  Burials of cremated human remains under the cover of a new type of pottery, often in a stone – lined cist grave, mark the arrival of the beaker people, called after their distinctive pottery.  During the Early Bronze Age, stone age culture survived for some time in the south and west of the country, while Bronze Age society and technology were developing in the north, east and midlands.

The clear differences between bronze age and stone age art suggest that the people who developed metal technology in Ireland were of a different culture to the stone age people.  The Beaker people originated in mainland Europe and probably came in search of copper and gold deposits.  There is certainly evidence of Irish gold and copper being traded into Europe and Britain, which suggests links with the wider European community.

The nature of the decoration on bronze age objects is fundamentally different from stone age design; it is the result of combining basic geometric shapes with the most up to date technology of the time.  Metal was cast, hammered, twisted and cut to shape to create the range of forms preferred by the bronze age artists.  Forms and designs were created by mechanical means using a compass and straight edge rather than the freehand designs found in stone age art.

Bronze Age structures (architecture)
The design of tombs changed during the bronze age, which again suggests a new type of culture in Irish society.  In the greater part of the country, the dead were laid to rest in pits of cists.  These usually took the form of a small stone – lined box about a metre in length which contained an upturned pot with cremated remains underneath.  In the west of Ireland, wedge tombs, which were related to the court cairns built in the stone age, were still being constructed.  None of these burial sites had the drama of the Stone age monuments. 

Ceremonial sites made of circular earthen banks of standing stones and hilltop forts are now regarded as bronze age structures that continued to have been little practiced except for a few examples of rock art found in counties Cork, Kerry and Donegal.  Designs were very simple, mainly little hollow cup marks surrounded by circles, sometimes with radiating lines.  Little remains of bronze age human settlement.  Houses and fences seem to have been made of wood, which would have rotted away over the centuries, though evidence of a widespread population has survived through burial sites and finds of bronze age objects.




Metalwork
Mining for gold and copper was carried out at a number of locations in Ireland during the Bronze age.  Evidence of bronze age metalworking has been found at Mount Gabriel in Co. Cork, the Vale of Avoca in Co. Wicklow and in the Mourne mountains.  It was low technology mining.  Gold was probably found in nuggets or by panning alluvial deposits in rivers.  Copper was mined by roasting ore- bearing rock with fire and cracking it by throwing cold water on it.  The broken stone would then be dug out and the bits with the highest concentration of copper oxides would be selected and smelted over a charcoal fire.  The resulting molten copper was poured into stone moulds and cast into the shapes of axes, knives, sickles of whatever shape was required.  As technology improved, more sophisticated moulds were made and tin (imported from England) was mixed with the copper to make the alloy bronze.  Bronze is harder than copper and can hold a sharp edge for longer.


 The Beaker people
  • During the period up to 2000BC a style of pottery and metalwork developed in EU and found its way to Ireland through travel & trade. 
  • These people were referred to as the beaker people & they probably had a small number of skilled craftsmen with them.


Metal in Ireland
  • Raw material needed for the new skill of metalwork was readily available in the hills of Ireland.  Copper was found at mt, Gabriel in cork, silver in Tipperary and alluvial gold found from the streams and rivers in the wicklow mountains.

Gold Ornaments – Tools – Pots
  • Bronze objects of high artistic quality have been found.  Mainly tools, shields, weapons & trumpets.  Pottery such as urns were used to contain remains of cremated dead.  Some artwork on stone is also dated to bronze age, mainly dots in circles.
  • Ornaments from bronze age have several features – abstract and the technique used by the worker in copper and bronze were also used by the goldsmith.  Nuggets of gold or metal were beaten into thin sheets.  Gold wire was made by cutting a narrow strip and twisting it, this was then used to cover leather to make necklaces, or for stitching 2 pieces together.  Wider, thicker pieces were twisted to make Torcs and earrings.

Bronze age decoration methods
  • Repousse – hammering designs on the reverse of  thin gold objects.
  • Incision – cutting a design into the front.
  • Twisting and flange twisting.
 Twisting & Flange Twisting –
  • The period from 1200 BC onwards was a very prolific time for gold ornaments and many gold hoards are dated to that period.  These include earrings, armlets, anklets and twisted ornaments called Torcs.


Gold Discs –
Probably the earliest examples of Irish gold ornaments are thin gold discs of various sizes.  These were decorated using the repousse method and usually have a cross encircled by concentric bands of chevrons (zigzags ) and dots.


Decorative Gold objects
Early bronze age objects were made from a single piece of gold, as the technology for joining pieces together with gold solder was not yet developed in Ireland.  Craftsmen hammered gold into thin flat sheets and cut it to shape.  Decoration was added simply incising (cutting) lines and patterns into the surface or by raising designs from the surface using the repousse technique (hammering form the reverse side).  Early bronze age gold objects were decorated with simple geometric patterns.  Circles, triangles, dots and straight lines were combined in various ways to make up the design repertoire of the first goldsmiths in Ireland.

The sun disc, from the early bronze age is circular in shape and about 11cm in diameter.  It is cut from a thin sheet of beaten gold.  The surface is patterned with ridges, chevrons and dots created by the repousse technique.  Two holes near the centre suggest that the discs may have been sewn onto a garment or belt.  The discs, which are from Tedavent, Co, Monaghan, have bands of dots, ridges and chevrons around the perimeter, with a cross shape in the centre.  Triangles are formed at the centre and the ends of the arms.  Triangles also appear between the arms of the cross shape against the surrounding circles.  These discs from Tedavent show some of the earliest examples of repousse work.  To apply a repousse design, gold sheet would have been laid face down on a firm surface – in more recent times, a leather sandbag or a bowl of mastic would have been used by goldsmiths.  A pattern could then be created on the surface using tracers (chisel like tools with a variety of shapes cut into the tip which were pressed or hammered into the surface) to produce a design.  With the work completed, the sheet of gold was turned face up to reveal the design projecting from the surface.  The work required careful craftsmanship, as a careless stroke could tear the thin gold sheet and the work would have to be started all over again.

The lunula is the most commonly found gold artifact form the early bronze age, and are dated back to after 1800BC.  A lunula was a neck collar probably worn as a status or magical item.  It was made of gold hammered into a thin sheet and cut into a crescent moon shape (hence the name) often with a plain surface but frequently decorated with incised lines.  A lunula from Ross in Westmeath has a pattern of lines, triangles and chevrons incised into its surface.  The pattern is concentrated in the narrow ends of the crescent.  Four patterned areas on each side have parallel lines with chevrons inside and separated by hatched lines.  There are rows of hatched triangles on each side of the parallel lines.   The main body of the lunula is plain and is surrounded by two rows of lines edged in triangles. 


 TORC:
A completely new form of ornament largely replaced sheet gold from about 1400BC. 

These new objects, called torcs, were made by twisting gold into a variety of decorative forms.  The ribbon torc was made from a flat strip of gold twisted into an even spiral shape also known as the bar torc.  A variation of the bar torc was made by hammering flanges out from the angles of square or triangular sectioned bars before twisting.  By varying the size of the flanges, the length of the bar and the degree of twist that was applied, craftsmen could make a variety of these flanged torcs.
Cathes and terminals also ranged in style from simple to elaborate.  Hammering the ends of the torc into the required shape created catches.  All torcs are made of one piece of gold and were made to fit the neck, waist and arms or to be worn as earrings.

The repousse technique continued in use at this time.  A pair of armbands from Derrinaboy, Co. Offaly, is boldly patterned in alternate smooth and rope patterned rows.



 The Broighter Collar:
The luxuriously ornamented Name, describe and discuss the two objects which are illustrated on the accompanying sheet,
referring to their form, function, materials, decoration and the techniques used in their
production.
and
Discuss briefly the periods in which they were made.
Illustrate your answer. (torc), along with the Petrie Crown, is one of Ireland’s greatest surviving masterpieces of Celtic metalwork art from the Irish Iron Age. It was named after the townland Broighter in County Derry, where it was discovered by Thomas Nicholl in 1896 while ploughing on Joseph Gibson's field. Its discovery helped to fuel the Celtic Art Revival Movement in England. Made by Irish metalworkers and goldsmiths during the first century BCE, the Broighter collar is a delicate tube of gold decorated in the La Tene style of Celtic art: a form influenced by Greek and Etruscan culture. Each end of the collar is buffer-shaped and fit together using a beautifully made T-shaped locking device.The Broighter collar was only one of the items discovered in the so-called Broighter Hoard. Other gold artifacts in the gold hoard included a model boat, a small bowl, and other neck ornaments. The Broighter boat, a 10 cm long model of an Iron Age seagoing vessel was constructed from sheet gold and features an anchor, a mast, rowing benches, oars, and a boathook.Thomas Nicholl sold the Broighter Gold Hoard for a small price and the items duly found their way into the British Museum. However, in 1897, the Royal Irish Academy took legal action in the High Court, claiming that the find was "Treasure Trove." In 1903, the High Court agreed and the Broighter collection was placed in the Royal Irish Academy's collection in the National Museum of Ireland, where it remains to this day.Other examples of great Celtic metalwork include: the Derrynaflan Chalice, the Ardagh Chalice and the Moylough Belt Shrine, as well as the processional crosses like the famous Tully Lough Cross (8th/9th century) found in County Roscommon, and the Cross of Cong commissioned by Turlough O'Connor.Along with the magnificent medieval illuminated manuscripts, items of Celtic metalwork like the Broighter Torc represent an important step in the history of Irish art.For modern masterpieces of artistic jewellery, read about the awesome Fabergé Easter Eggs, a series of unbelievable precious objects, created out of gold, silver and gemstones by the St Petersburg House of Fabergé - Russia's greatest goldsmiths


DRESS FASTENER – Bronze age Gold object

 The gold dress fastener  found in Clones, Co. Monaghan, dates from the 8th century B.C. and is decorated with many small circular shapes engraved into it.  It is pure gold and weighs over 1000 grammes it probably was used for ceremonial occasions.

It can be seen in the National Museum of Ireland and belongs to the Dowris phase of the Late Bronze Age at circa 700 B. C.  It has a length of 21.5 centimetres.
It functioned as a double button meant to slip through two holes in a garment such as a cloak.  The largeness and elaborate decoration on the surface probably meant it was only worn infrequently.
The connecting bow tapers from the centre toward each end, and the ends join the bell-shaped terminals asymmetrically.  Three small hatched triangles lie along the crest of the bow.  Three bands of parallel lines, separated by bands with diagonal hatching, run around the bases of the bow.  A hatched chevron design runs around the margins of this band of decoration, both above and below.
The exterior surfaces of the terminals are magnificently decorated with small pits surrounded by concentric engraved circles, scattered freehand and occasionally touching one another.
A triangular area between the end of the bow and the inner edge of the terminal has been left undecorated, and a similar interruption of decoration appears on the underside of the bow.
The rims of the terminals carry three ridges, both inside and outside.  A ring of hatched triangles rises from the highest inner ridge.
This type of fastener is an Irish adaptation of a northern European clothespin, in which two conjoined circular plates are furnished with a fastening pin; pins are absent in the Irish form.  Many of these fasteners (all except two are in gold) have been found in Ireland, where they have a wide distribution; such ornaments were also exported to Britain.  Also known as a fibula or fibulae.


Craftsmanship
The art of the metalworker reached a very high standard of craftsmanship in the late bronze age, both in gold and bronze work.  Clay moulds were made of a number of parts were now used to cast more complicated objects.  Bronze was beaten into sheets and joined with rivets to create large cauldrons and other vessels.  Sophistication in design and workmanship is a hallmark of late bronze age metalwork.

Conclusion
The abstract art of the Bronze age was linked to the art of a large part of Western Europe.  We are lucky to have exceptional examples of bronze age design in Ireland.  The gold and bronze objects are the most advanced technology of the time combined with sophisticated designs and a high level of craftsmanship, showing what could be achieved with simple geometric patterns.






Lizamore Crozier
The Lizamore Crozier was discovered in a blocked-up doorway at Lizamore Castle, in the early years of the 19th century. Like most medieval Irish croziers, it is formed of a wooden staff decorated with sheet bronze, spacer knobs, and surmounted by a cast copper-alloy crook. The crook is cast in a single piece and is hollow apart from a small reliquary which was inserted in the drop. Both sides of the crook are decorated with round studs of blue glass with red and white millefiori insets. Three animals with open jaws form the crest of the crozier, and these terminate in an animal head with blue glass eyes. An inscription at the base of the crook records the name of Neachtain, the craftsman who made the crozier, along with the Bishop of Lismore, who commissioned it.
Croziers such as this were symbols of power and authority. Many date to a period of political upheaval, when the Irish Church was undergoing reform. This reform led to competition between the larger monasteries as they strove to become the new diocesan centres. Lavish church treasures such as croziers and other shrines were commissioned at this time, partly to reinforce the claims of particular monastic centres and their secular patrons.






The Broighter Collar
The Broighter Collar is an example of La Tene style metalworking that shows clearly the design skill and extent of detail that La Tene culture represents. Dating from 1st Century BC, the Broighter Collar was found in Broighter, Co.Derry.


This piece is exquisitely made and consists of two gold co-joined half loops with distinctive fasteners, the piece having a diameter of 19.5cm in total. The techinque involved in making the collar begins with 2 ribbons of sheet gold, onto which a design is made along the centre using the repoussé technique. These decorated ribbons were then rolled into tubes and shaped into a ring whereby the tubes would then be soldered together. The terminals are made of cylindrical metal drums, decorated again using the repoussé technique. The left drum carries a 'T' shaped tenon and the right drum contains a socket where the tenon fits. The right drum can then be rotated to secure the collar around the neck. The design of the collar is made up of swirls balanced by leaf motifs and trumpet forms, all in relief. At regular intervals there are raised designs of well-defined spirals which were clipped onto the surface. The remaining surface was etched with fine hatched lines using a compass, with the area underneath being left bare. The collar itself is presumed to have belonged to a very important member of society or a religious community, the person having worn it around the neck.


The broighter Collar





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3. IRISH PAINTERS:

 Jack B. Yeats

  • Jack B Yeats came from an Irish background.  His father John Butler Yeats, was a portrait painter and his brother, William Butler Yeats, became one of Irelands best know and loved poets.
  • Jack Yeats always signed his name Jack B. Yeats to avoid confusion with his father, but to this day one is still mistaken for the other.
  • Most of his childhood was spent apart from his parents, brother and sisters, with his grandparents at his mothers home in Sligo, but this led him to develop an independence away from the heavy intellectualism of his fathers circle of friends. 
  • He enjoyed the atmosphere of the west with its rugged coastline, mist, rain, constantly changing weather conditions, space and colour, were to enrich and inspire his work.
  • He said ‘A true painter must be part of the land and the life he paints’.
  • Like other members of his family, he drew constantly from a young age, and when he rejoined the family in London, his talent for comic humour in drawing greatly amused them. 
  • He attended various art schools in London, but none were as valuable an experience to him as his apprenticeship working as an illustrator for some of London’s magazines, from which he earned his own living from the age of 17.
  • He was unaffected by European art developments and his travels around Ireland observing horse racing, country fairs, traveling circuses and the streets of Dublin appear to have satisfied his own imagination.  His art is deeply personal and cannot easily be defined, but for some time after he returned to Ireland, his painting was realistic and narrative (told a story).
  • He chose small incidents, like three women on a train deep in conversation. 
  • Later, his work developed into strong dramatic painting for which he has become famous.  He drew heavily from memories and sketches of his youth and the smallest incident could result in dramatic possibilities.
  • He was a painter of inner vision and poetry, capturing a world of landscape and memory, half imaginary, half fact, caught between reality and fantasy.
  • From his traditional period, his painting ‘The Liffey Swim’ captures the excitement of this annual event in Dublin, but sporting events were always of interest to him.
  • He painted with loose brush strokes in his later works and emotion became a stronger feature in his work.
  • He felt that the paintings could speak for themselves, he said ‘It doesn’t matter who I am or what I am, people may think what they will of my pictures’.
  • Another of Yeats most common images involved horses, and though he was never a horseman himself, he had a great affection for them.  ‘For the Road’ expresses the understanding between horse and rider and the light of hope and optimism at the end of the tunnel.
  • He died in March 1957 and has gained widespread international recognition as Irelands most renowned painter.

The Liffey Swim – Jack B Yeats
·        The Liffey Swim is an annual race in Dublin's main river, the Liffey and is one of Ireland's most famous traditional sporting events. Swim Ireland organizes the event and it is managed by volunteers.
·        Yeat’s composition has us in the action, a bystander craning over the other viewer’s heads. It is as direct a statement as an artist can make- We’re in this together.
·        One of the earliest Liffey Swims was immortalized in the Jack B. Yeats 1923 painting entitled The Liffey Swim, which was to win him a silver medal at the 1924 Paris Olympics competition for artistic Endeavour. You can view The Liffey Swim in the National Gallery of Ireland.
·        In the painting there were lots of people looking out on the Liffey watching the Liffey Swim, and there were three people in the water. Some of the people were on a tram. The river looked dangerous because the water had red streaks in it and red was a symbol for danger.
·        There is freedom and spontaneity in his use of color and less evidence of planned drawing in this work. 
·        The painting represents the development from his illustrative phase (where he drew cartoons & caricatures for magazines & newspapers) to his later use of free flowing color.  It records the annual swim down the river Liffey in the city of Dublin and it is full of excitement of the event, while others view from the O Connell Bridge in the middle distance.  There is a wide range of young and old, from every social class.  He uses long and broad brushstrokes and rich colors, giving the impression of rapid painting in order to capture the movement of the river and swimmers and the excitement of this event.
·        There is a man wearing a brown hat with a black band near the front of the painting.  He is looking away from the race straight out of the painting.  This is said to be a self portrait of the artist.

The Liffey Swim


For the Road – Jack B Yeats
·        The horse hears its master’s call and gallops towards him on a road through a dark forest.  A figure silhouetted at a distant tunnel of light beckons, drawing the horse out of the darkness and into the light.  The darkened wood is evident by touches of red and yellow.
·        The horse, flecked out in different tones of blue with a palette knife, exudes a magical, almost translucent quality as if a vision or apparition.
·        The excitement of the horse on being called to undertake its journey symbolizes Yeats positive attitude to life, which he saw as a progression towards a goal with a sympathetic companion.   For the road seems to be a metaphor for the uncertainty and confusion of our journey through the darkness of life into the new light of peace and freedom we can barely glimpse. 
·        There is great freedom of the brushwork in this painting, especially in the horse, conveying the notion of excitement, life, energy & speed.
For the Road - by Jack B Yeats

Comic Strip - his earlier work

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Nathaniel Hone - Irish painter
Irish painter

Nathaniel Hone – 1831 – 1917 – Irish artist

About him:
1)    Famous Irish landscape painter
2)    Born in Dublin to a very artistic family, he was the great grand nephew of Nathaniel Hone the elder and related to portrait artist Horace Hone.
3)    He started his career as a railway engineer then at 21 he was determined to become a professional painter.
4)    Began his art studies in Paris & stayed in France for 17years.
5)    He studied the human figure & drawing & he visited ‘La Louvre’ museum in Paris to see the work of the Old masters regularly.
6)    He then went to Barbizon to study landscape painting – here he met other artists such as Millet & Corot.
7)    He studied composition & how to achieve light on the canvas.
8)    He developed a deep feeling for the colour of a landscape & the skill to reproduce it, which made him one of the most famous Irish landscape artists.
9)    He had a fascination with light and focused on tone (shading with light & dark) in his paintings.
10) He left Barbizon in 1870, traveled to Normandy, Brittany, Paris & Italy before finally returning to Ireland in 1872.
11) Exhibited his paintings regularly at the RHA (royal Hibernian academy) and he made elected professor of painting at the RHA in 1894, a title which he held up until his death.
12) He settled in malahide.
13) Today his art work is displayed in ‘The hugh lane gallery’ in Dublin, ‘The tate gallery’, London, ‘The national gallery of Ireland’ in Dublin as well as in the ulster museum in Belfast.



Rough sea at Bundoran - Nathaniel Hone 
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Irish artist –
Roderick O’ Connor – 1860 – 1940

  • Roderick O‘Connor left Ireland when he was a young man & spent most of his life in France.
  • He never exhibited his work in Ireland or with Irish artists and the result was that he was forgotten about in Ireland until very recently he was recognized only for his association with famous French artist Paul Gauguin.
  • Born in Rosscommon to the well known O’ Connor family of the area.  Studied in Dublin and Antwep but soon went to Paris, where he quickly found a new direction.
  • His canvasses from this time display a surprisingly advanced style of strong, loose impressionist brushwork and bright colors, capturing the heat & glare of the sunny French countryside.
  • Events in Paris at the time which would undoubtedly have had an influence on him were the last impressionist exhibition in 1886, Gauguin’s exhibition, and the showing of Van Gogh’s work in 1890.  After his death, Van Gogh’s paintings created a great impression on some of the more advanced French artists, and O’ Connor was one of the first foreign artists to appreciate them.
  • Van Goghs profound effect on him was reflected in his own work over the next 10 years or so painting in Brittany, with landscapes like ‘A field of Corn, pont Aven, portrayed strong bold colors and stripes. 
  • He also painted a series of portraits of Breton women in traditional costume, sitting or absorbed in their work.
  • O’ Connors link to Gauguin began when he joined a community of artists which had established itself around Paul Gauguin in Pont Aven in Brittany.  Although they were friends and O’ Connor was deeply impressed by Gauguin, his own work remained unique and independent. 
  • One of his best known works from Pont Aven is ‘The farm at Lezavan’ featuring a sunlit farmhouse glimpsed against a glowing sky through dark trees.  The field and wild flowers are painted in harmonious reds, greens, pinks, violets & oranges.


‘A field of Corn’ – by Roderick O’ Connor

  • O'Connor arrived at the tiny Breton village of Pont Aven in 1892. Since the 1860's artists had succumbed to the magical and picturesque charm of this still incredibly pretty village, attracted by the somewhat exotic wildness of its primitive environment. O'Connor explored the Breton subject in a more expressive way than earlier Irish artists who had worked in Brittany. His figure paintings from this period are overtly Breton in character, his subjects often wearing typical Breton dress, and he captures something of the haughty dignity of the primitive peasant nature.





  • The farm at Lezaven had served as an artists' studio for some years before 1894 when O'Connor painted it. O'Connor probably worked in this studio but his landscapes were more likely painted out of doors, using nature as a vehicle for exploring color.
  • Strident and very expressive strokes of the brush, combined with vibrant contrasting colors, reveal the influence of van Gogh. The color combinations of reds and greens, pinks, violets and maroons, are increasingly characteristic of O'Connor's paintings. The brushstrokes are smaller and thinner. Here O'Connor captures the rich profusion, rather than the burning intensity of summer. Through the trees we glimpse the sunlit farmhouse and glowing sky. But there is also a sense of pattern, in the uprights of trees and the horizontal layers of flowers and fields, areas of light and shadow, and in the overall surface texture of brushstrokes. These changes may have come about through O'Connor's contact with Gauguin who had a studio at Lezaven at the time.

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Contemporary artist in Ireland - 

Louis Le Brocquy (1916 -2012)

·        Born in Dublin in 1916, he worked in his fathers business before leaving in 1938 to become a painter.
·        He took no formal training, instead he traveled to London and Paris to work in the major galleries before arriving in Geneva, the home of the Prado collection in Madrid during the Spanish Civil War.  Spanish painting immediately captivated him and was to remain a huge influence in his work over his long career.  It can be particularly seen in his use of grey and white, which are such strong elements of Spanish painting.
·        When Le Brocquy returned to Ireland in 1940, his work was rejected by the Royal Hibernian Academy.  This controversial event, however, spurred him on to become a founding member of the Irish exhibition of living art before moving to London for the next ten years. 
·        After his marriage in 1958 to a young Irish painter Anne Madden, the couple left London to work for some time in the south of France.
·        Over ten years, his art has undergone a series of radical changes.  An early work, ‘girl in white’ in the Ulster Museum, illustrates a preoccupation with the individual, while a series of ‘Tinker’ paintings from 1946 to 1950 highlight concerns relating to human isolation and outcasts.
·        During the Grey period from 1950 – 1956 paintings such as ‘A family’ in the National gallery of Ireland relate to human circumstances in the aftermath of the war.  By now the artist had established a reputation for his thoughtful commentary and inquiry into conditions of life.
·        Louis Le Brocquy had many exhibitions in Ireland, France, Japan, Belgium, Australia and the US.  At the time he was the first and only living artist ever to be included in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Ireland, he has also received many awards over the years, including the title of Saoi, Asdana, 1994 and the first Irish museum of Modern Art/ Glen Dimplex award for a sustained contribution to the arts in 1998.
·        Perhaps his best known work is a series that evolved from work he started in the 1960’s called ‘Ancestral Heads’ and ‘Presences’.  As part of these, he made studies of James Joyce’s head, and in 1975, when he was commissioned to make a print from portraits of nobel prize winners, he chose W.B Yeats.  The result was a long series of probing images of well known personalities, including those of Francis Bacon, Pablo Picasso, and Samuel Beckett.



His Paintings –











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THE IRON AGE - 



 The celts in Ireland
  • The iron age is probably the period in Irish history about which there is the most speculation and the least certainty.  There is no certainty as to when the celts came to Ireland, but the influence of these central European people is certainly to be found in the artwork of the period in Ireland just before and after the first century BC, particularly in the north and north western part of the country.



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.


Iron age artifacts in bronze and Gold –

  • Many items from this time which were made of iron have not been very well preserved, as over the years gold was considered by dealers to be the only valuable find.
  • However, some very fine swords have been found in various parts of Ireland, but mainly in Co. Antrim. 
  • Several bronze trumpets were found, but only one now survives.  This is a splendid object with a long large curved stem.  The mouth of the trumpet is decorated in the repousse technique with a curvilinear pattern,  this is called the Loughnashade trumpet after where it was found in Co.Antrim.  



Gold Hair lock ring



The Petrie Crown
The Petrie Crown is a fine example of Celtic Iron Age metalworking which displays the curvilinear repeated patterning typical of the La Tene style. It is made of Bronze pieces which are riveted together. The base is a bronze band which was bent into a circular shape that fits onto the head.
Circular discs are attached onto the outer circumference of this bronze band.
Two large outer discs are mounted on top decorated with La Tene spiral designs, the centre of some of these spirals ends in a bird head design. The discs are not flat, but are concave in shape. The designs are lined or carved in – ie the background of each line is carved away and smoothed so the lines appear raised. These discs have an enamel bead in the centre.
The conical horn was cut from sheet bronze, was formed by rolling into a cylinder and beating into a cone. Originally there was a second horn that was broken and lost.
Petrie Crown


Petrie Crown
Discovered in County Cork, the Petrie Crown - named after its former owner, the Irish antiquarian George Petrie - along with the Broighter Gold Collar and Boat, is another masterpiece of early Irish Celtic metalworking from the pagan Iron Age (100 BCE - 200 CE). Part of an elaborate horned head-dress, it was created in the La Tene style of Celtic art (repoussé method), influenced by Etruscan and Greek art forms. It exhibits the repetitive symmetrical design popular with both Hallstatt and La Tene craftsmen.
Description
The Petrie Crown is composed of numerous bronze pieces connected with rivets. A circular bronze band forms the basic core, to whose outer circumference is attached a number of concave roundels or circular discs, decorated with triskeles or spiral designs centred with birds' heads, and beadwork. As well as the discs, there is another set of riveted attachments, namely a series of goblet-shaped bronze pieces, and a single hollow conical-shaped horn (although marks indicate that a second horn was also part of the original assembly). The horn itself appears to have been cut from a bronze sheet before being beaten and rolled into shape. The bird shapes on the cone were originally filled with red enamel (cloisonné technique), as were settings in the bosses on the discs, one of which still has an enamel stud.
Celtic Designwork
The curvilinear patterns on the crown derive from a harmony of traditional Celtic La Tene designs, including sun symbols, influenced by Etruscan and Greek motifs. They employ lotus-bud and palmette imagery, including sinuous trumpet forms terminating in lentoid bosses, along with spirals ending in three types of birds heads. The latter are very similar to motifs which appear on Celtic "Dragonesque" brooches found in northern Britain.


Part of George Petrie's Collection
The Petrie Crown - which incidentally is not considered by some scholars to have been used as a headpiece - used to be part of a collection of artifacts deriving from Celtic culture, owned by George Petrie, the Irish antiquary, archaeologist and artist of the nineteenth century. He oversaw the Royal Irish Academy's acquisition of many illuminated Irish manuscripts, including a version of the Annals of the Four Masters, as well as examples of Hiberno-Saxon Insular metalwork, such as the Cross of Cong. His expertise on early Irish archaeology and architecture, particularly his book 'The Round Towers of Ireland', earned him the nickname "the father of Irish archaeology". The Petrie Crown now resides in the National Museum of Ireland and is one of the great artifacts in the early history of Irish art.
Other examples of great Celtic metalwork include: the Derrynaflan Chalice, the Ardagh Chalice and the Moylough Belt Shrine, as well as the renowned bronze encased crosses like the 8th/9th century Tully Lough Cross and the great 12th century Cross of Cong, commissioned by Turlough O'Connor, High King of Ireland.

ring forts

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Manuscripts


The importance of books in an Irish monastery
The books of the bible were central to the practice of Christianity.  A monk in an early Christian monastery needed a copy of the bible and other texts for the daily readings and singing that were the centre of his life.  Before the invention of printing in the late 15th century, all books had to be copied by hand.  This included not only bibles. But books of prayers and services, texts on Latin grammar and all kinds of scholary works that were needed for the education of members of the clergy and nobility.

Latin was the language of educated people throughout Europe; clerics and educated nobles could join in Church services and communicate with each other anywhere on the continent.  All church ceremonies were conducted in Latin.  Education began with Latin so that students could read the texts and further their knowledge.
Books were very precious, not simply because of the time and effort that went into their making, but as sources of knowledge, and often, as the word of God.  Carelessly copied texts would be regarded as an insult to God, whose words were being transcribed.  Monks offered their work as a prayer, so they tried to make it as perfect and beautiful as they could.

Making books
Not only had books to be written by hand, but every part had to be produced from raw materials.  There was no source of ready made pages, inks or pens.  The scribe had to make everything from what was available locally or what could be imported.  Pages had to be made and assembled into book form.

Vellum (calf skin)
In Ireland, vellum was the preferred material from which to make pages.  Vellum is calf skin.  To prepare it, it was placed in a bath of water and lime for some days to loosen the hairs on the skin.  Timing was an important element because if the skin was left too long in the bath it would become prone to bacterial attack.  (the book of kells has suffered a little from this problem, for example).  After the bath, the skin was cleaned and scraped free of hair and impurities with a blade.  Next it was rubbed smooth with a pumice stone.  The hide was then stretched flat and dried before it was cut into pages.  The vellum could be sewn into rolls or made into a codex (groups of pages sewn together into book form).  The codex became a more popular form as it was easier to refer to and to store.







Inks and Pigments
Black and dark inks were made in a variety of ways.  Carbon inks were made from burnt wood or animal fat and remained black, but they were prone to flaking off the page.  Iron gall ink was made by mixing iron sulphate with crushed oak galls and gum to bind them together.  This mixture was carried in a solution of water, wind or vinegar.  Disadvantages of iron gall ink were that the iron etched into the vellum and the gall sometimes faded to shades of brown.
The earliest books that have survived used very little colour, just a little red or yellow dotting around the capital letters at the beginning of new sections.

The Cathach (Irish manuscript)
One of the earliest surviving Irish manuscripts is the Cathach.  It is the oldest existing Irish manuscript of the Psalter (a copy of the book of psalms) and the earliest example of Irish writing.  Traditionally, this book is from the hand of St Columba, who lived from 521 to 597.  He was the founder of the Columbian order of monks who continued the tradition of manuscript writing and missionary work begun by their first abbot.  Unfortunately only 58 damaged pages of the work survive.
The name Cathach, an Irish word meaning battle was given to the book by the O’ Donnells, clansmen of Columba, who carried it with them into battle, invoking the protection of the saint.  This is reputed to be the book which Columba transcribed in haste without the permission of his master, Finnian, bringing about a court case which ruled to every cow its calf, to every book its copy.  Columbas clansmen disputed the court case and fought in battle of Cuil Dremhne for ownership of the book.  The story goes that Columba was so horrified by the death and destruction of the battle that he banished himself on permanent pilgrimage and exile from home.  This involved a life of prayer and self denial while spreading the word of God to the heathen.  His travels took him first to Iona, an island off the coast of Scotland, where he founded a monastery, which was to become the chief house of the Columban monasteries for the next 200 years.  The Cathach, is written in a clear majuscule script with enlarged capitals introducing psalms.  




1994 Exam papers – Hons – Sample Answer
Q. 2 – Trace the development of Irish illuminated manuscripts from the Catach to the book of Kells, referring in your answer to examples of decorations from the manuscripts you describe.
  The Christian communities had to learn to read and write in manuscript.  The first Irish manuscripts are not written in the ‘unical script’ but in the distinctively Irish hand of the ‘half uncial’.  This Irish hand attained great beauty and perfection was to be taken abroad by the Irish missionaries to England and Scotland where it became the national script of the counties.  Missionaries and scholars produced small gospel books which could easily be carried.  These were written in ‘minuscule script’.  Manuscripts were produced in a scriptorium and considerable wealth was required by the monasteries for the production of luxury books.  A large herd of calves was required for the production of vellum, books were kept in leather satchels which were hung on the walls but special books were elaborately bound and sometimes stored in ornate metal boxes or shrines.  Scribal activity was of the greatest importance to colmcille and he and his followers have come to be particularly associated with manuscript production.  Some Irish manuscripts are:

The Cathach – This is the oldest Irish manuscript of the psalter and the earliest example of Irish writing.  Written in Latin, it contains a vulgate version of psalms 10 to 13 with interpretative rubic or heading before each psalm.  It is traditionally ascribed to St. Columba as the copy, made at night in haste by a candle light, of a psalter lend to Columba by St. Finian.  It is possible to date the manuscript late 6th or 7th century from the script, but modern historical scholarships has cast doubts on the authorship by St. Columba as well as on the dating.  Between 1062 and 1098 a special shrine was made for it and the manuscript was named the ‘Cathach’ from the practice of carrying it right hand wise around the field of battle as a talisman.  The script by one scribe is early majuscule with ornamental capitals, some of which are in red and like the red in the lettering for the rubics, the colour has faded.  The framework of the capitals is often outlined by a series of scarlet dotes and the decoration is mostly by spirals and animal heads.  The capitals do not stand out of letters of dimishing size.  The leaves were taken from the casket and caked together and cockled.  In 1920, in the Brittish museum bindery, the leaves were separated and mounted in paper frames and the butt joints were overlaid with white net.  In 1980-1 further repair and rebinding work was carried out by Rodger Powell and his assistant, at the cost of  6.150 stg.

The paper mounting from which vellum leaves had come adrift, was replaced by new vellum mounts specially stained to match the colour of the original leaves.  Pieces of degreased fish skin were used for joining butted edges in the vellum mounts.  The leaves, assembled in sections, were sewn within a zig zag of handmade paper onto cards and bound in English oak boards.  The spine was covered in white alun-tawed pigskin.  To keep the vellum under pressure and to prevent cockling, the rebound manuscript was put into a special box designed by David Powell and made by George Taylor.
Capital letters from the Cathach (above).  These letters show the adaption of motifs from la Tene metalwork.  The letters are surrounded by dots.  The late 11th century shrine of the Cathach, made by sitric of kells, co. Meath to the order of Cathbarr O’Donnell, may be seen in the national museum of Ireland (in the library of the royal Irish academy).

The Book of Durrow – This book was probably intended for use on an altar as its too large to be carried around.  Its traditionally associated with the Columban monastery and was probably produced in a scriptorium there in the mid seventh century.  The book of Durrow also introduces to the third great component of Irish art of the early Christian period, interlaced bands.  They seemed to be Coptic (Egyptian Christians) as the dots which accompany the,.  Many of the pages are framed by a loose interlace of broad bands of varying colours accentuated by double lines on the edges.  The pages are decorated in red, yellow, green and deep brown against a black background or the plain velum page.  The book of Durrow is a copy of the gospels and came origionally from the monastery founded in Durrow, Co. Offly by Saint Columbia, it was for a time in the possession of the farmer who used it to dip in the drinking water used by the cattle as a cure for disease.  It passed eventually into the hands of the Cromwellian bishop of Meath who presented it to the Trinity college library, Dublin.  This book is multicoloured using dark green, bright yellow, red and what now has become a dark brown.  The space between the bands is darkened, thus allowing them room to breathe.  Characteristics of the book of Durrow include the amount of space left free between the individual elements of the decoration and the use of large scale motifs and design.  Two of the main decorative elements can occur on the same page, but never all three together and they are always kept neatly together.  Either the artists felt that motifs which he knew to have different origins or which for him had different symbolic meanings aught to be kept apart or else he hadn’t really ‘digested’ all the components sufficiently to feel confident to mix them together.  The animals in the book of durrow are now rhymetical and free in their design, it was sometimes proven to be difficult to decide where the book of Durrow was painted and written, however, its almost certaintly a product of a Columbian monastery.  This book was illuminated in a place where metalwork was practiced.  For there are indications of borrowing from the metal smiths craft.  The use of the Celtic spiral ornament is the most obvious example.  Another is the millegerri pattern produced on the cloak of the symbol of Matthew.

   
Book of Durrow










Book of Durrow


Book of Kells


 Book Of Kells

Book Of kells - decoration


The  Cathach



METALWORK – early Christian Ireland


Points to know :
  • Colmcilles monastery in Iona was an important link between Britain and Ireland.  The anglo – Saxons had brought the animal art of northern Europe in Britain, which had also been occupied by the romans, and during the Christian era, a new artistic tradition developed which fused Germanic Roman and various traditions of the Mediterranean in Ireland.
  • The traditions blended with the earlier La Tene style and formed a unique form of art found in manuscript illumination and metalwork of the late seventh and eight centuries.



Techniques:
·         Around 600AD the techniques used in fine Irish craftsmanship changed considerably from that of the Iron age.  Solid silver was used in making objects like chalices, enamel was used more and a new technique of millefiori glass was adopted.
·         Millefiori was produced by covering a cane of glass with layers of different coloured glass and cutting them into shorter lengths.  Sometimes lengths of coloured glass were laid together and fused before cutting and setting into the metalwork.
·         New types of objects became fashionable, such as large pins and penannular brooches for fastening garments.  There were probably workshops all over they country, but some are known to have been at the monastic site at Armagh and at Ballinderry crannog Co.Offaly.  A small group of penannular brooches, of which the Ballinderry brooch is the finest, survive from that time.  The penannular brooch, so called because of the gap in the ring, was developed from a Roman military style brooch found in northern Britain.


The 18th century metalworking techniques
  • Motifs used in manuscripts are also found in metalwork.  Similar colouring is applied by using enamels, and 18th century metalwork shows an astonishing range of techniques, a love of sumptuous, all over decorations and a combination of local and borrowed techniques. 
  • New techniques of gold filigree, gilding and silvering, kerbschnitt, die-stamping and a variety of new colours in glass and enamel were added to the native skills of bronze casting, engraving and colouring with red enamel.






The golden age of irish metalwork
  • The early 18th century is the era known as the Golden age and is a time of perfection in Irish art.  Objects with dazzling array of techniques, such as the Tara brooch and the Ardagh Chalice seem to have suddenly made their appearance.  However, these and other splendid pieces were found by chance and who knows what other objects have been lost from that time.



The Tara Brooch
  • The tara brooch is a form of the penannular brooch which passed origionally into Irish jewellery from a Roman design.  These broochs have no particular Christian connection and were as likely to have been made form the personal adornment of a queen or king as for that of a bishop.
  • There are many examples of this type of brooch n Irish art, but the Tara brooch, although one of the smallest, is the finest of them.  It is a ring brooch and has no gap through which the pin can pass and so is pseudo – pennannular.  Chain and loops are needed for fastening in a brooch like this.
  • The famous brooch was not actually found at Tara but on the seashore at Bettystown, co.Meath, near where a cliff had collapsed due to the erosion of the sea.  A jeweler who had it for some time named it the Tara brooch and the name has remained.
  • If the Ardagh chalice can be compared to the Book of Durrow, the Tara brooch can be compared to the Book of Kells.  As in the manuscript, the little brooch is crowned with detailed decoration front and back.  It is quite small, but has an astonishing amount of skillful work in the form of detailed ornament which, like that of the Book of Kells, fits into a very small space.
  • The Tara brooch is close in style to the Ardagh chalice and, like the chalice, design, technique and materials are of the highest quality.  It belongs to the same period and may even have come from the same workshop.
  • The Tara brooch is a perfect example of 18th century metal craftsmanship in that every skill available to metalwork of the time is to be found on its small surface.
The Tara Brooch


The Ardagh Chalice
  • One of the richest discoveries of early Christian Irish art was made by a boy digging potatoes near Ardagh, Co.Limerick in 1868.  This has become known as the Ardagh Chalice.
  • With it he found four brooches and a bronze chalice.  They must have been part of the collection of a rich monastery.
  • With its simple design using gold and silver, moulded coloured glass and its light engraving, the silver chalice is the finest piece of 18th century metalwork to have been found in Ireland to date.   A wide range of materials and considerable technical skills were combined to produce this work of perfection.
  • The Ardagh chalice can be compared to the Book of Durrow because like the manuscript, where decoration is set off against the plain vellum, large areas of silver in the chalice are also plain.  The decoration itself, however, is sumptuous and interlace and animal interlace, scrolls, plaits gold wire.  Other techniques used are engraving, casting, enameling and cloisonné, a method of enameling which separates the colours with thin strips of metal.
  • Complex gold filigree work forms a band around the chalice and this is broken by red and blue glass studs.  Under this band, engraved lightly into the silver, are the names of all the apostles except Judas.
  • The handles on both sides are a concentrated area of rich colours and patterns.  They are decorated with coloured glass in panels of red, blue, green and yellow, in between which are tiny panels of complex and skilled gold filigree work.  In the centre of each side is a cross within a roundel.
  • The design is simple but it is richly decorated using spirals of gold wire filigree work, colored glass and a cloisonné enameled stud in the centre.
  • The bowl of the chalice is joined to the base by a thick bronze stem.  The stem is heavily gilded ( a thin layer of gold impressed onto the metal), and here the decoration is the most intricate and involved of all. 
  • The base is formed by a cone – shaped foot around which is a decorated flange for extra stability.  This flange has square blocks of blue glass separated by panels of interlace and geometric ornament.
  • In the centre of the underside of the base is a circular crystal surrounded by gold filigree and green enamel.  The outer edge of the flange underside
      is divided into eight, with six copper studs and two silver.


The Ardagh Chalice.





Manuscripts


  • Christianity is a religion of the book, and the Irish, like every other Christian community, had to learn how to read and write the scriptures.  The standard script of the 4th and 5th centuries were the ‘uncial script’ but the first Irish manuscripts are written in the distinctively Irish hand of the ‘half uncial’ which attained great beauty and perfection.
  • This was taken abroad by the Irish missionaries to England and Scotland in the 6th and early 7th centuries, where it became the national script.  Missionaries and scholars wrote small gospel and missal books, which could easily be carried in the ‘miniscule’ script, but larger luxury illuminated manuscripts for use on the altar on special occasions were written in the majuscule script.

Manuscript Production
In the period between late 17th and early 19th centuries, Irish monks produced manuscript books that were masterpieces of calligraphy and painting, surpassing anything in the rest of Europe.  They were produced in a room called a scriptorium and copying the texts was considered an act of devotion.  Monasteries required considerable wealth for book production, such as a large herd of calves needed for vellum and expensive colors that were often imported from abroad.  Traditionally, books were kept in leather satchels which were hung on the walls, but special books were elaborately bound and sometimes stored in ornate metal boxes or shrines.



The Cathach – An Irish manuscript
  • The earliest surviving Irish manuscript, now in the library of the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin, is the Psalter known as the Cathach of St. Columba.
  • The name Cathach means ‘battle book’ and it earned its name when Colmcille took a rare and valuable book from St. Finian and copied it in the night.  Finian appealed to the high king of Tara, who ruled against Colmcille.  After this, Colmcille was exiled to Iona.
  • The beginning of the book is missing and its decoration is confined to the first letter of each paragraph. 
  • It shows a very important feature of early Christian art, that of the adaption of the old celtic motifs used in metalwork to script.
  • Another important feature of the Cathach is the use of stylized animal ornament, which was to remain a particularly distinctive feature of Irish manuscript illumination during the next centuries.  The book is in black and white, with a small amount of color such as red and yellow used here and there.
  • The cathach is written in a clear majuscule script with enlarged capitals introducing each psalm.  The lettering is in a peculilarly Irish style, different from the Roman models, examples of whch the first missionaries must have brought with them.  In a few generations Irish Christians had not only learned to read and write in Latin, ut had created a style of lettering and decoration of their own, quite different from the Roman ooks they had first encountered.
  • Majuscule is a style of rounded capital letters written ewteen two ruled lines with very ascenders or descenders above or below the lines.  The decoration employed by the scribes seems to follow from La Tene style, as it incorportates trumpet ends, spirals and a few animal and plant forms, along with the Christian cross and fish symbols. 
  • The writing is carried out with reed or quill pens, in dark ink with some dotting in red and yellow surrounding the capital letters.  Folio 6a of the Cathach shows the diminuendo effect where the letters gradually reduce in size until they are back to the general text size.  This is a characteristic feature of Irish script, not seen in Roman models.  The opening letter Q of psalm 91, which begins ‘Qui habitat..’ shows a range of the designs used in this manuscript.   A little spring spiral, an animal head and a cross are all added to the tail of the Q and a row of pen flourishes decorates the inside. 
  • The diminuendo effect can clearly be seen over these opening words.  The letter M, which opens the psalm on Folio 21a, is decorated with spirals and trumpet ends.  The simple decoration employed in the cathach is echoed in contemporary stone and metalwork.  A small repertoire of designs and patterns forms the basis for the amazingly elaborate work produced by the following generations of craftsmen.       





Manuscripts – The Book of Durrow

The insular style: New Irish establishments founded in Britain and Europe would originally have been stocked with books made in Ireland, and Irish monks probably trained the scribes in these monasteries.  Influences from British and Continental traditions in art also found their way back into Ireland with migrating monks.  Books in the style called insular survived in many European monasteries.  Scholars today can’t be certain about where every book was actually written, but there is a strong element of the Irish celtic tradition in all of them.  Not many books survive from the 7th century.  There are some from the monasteries of St Columbanus at Bobbio in northern Italy.  We are lucky to have an outstanding example in this country – The Book of Durrow.


  • The Book of Durrow is the earliest example of a fully decorated manuscript in the insular style.  It is a copy of the Four Gospels with some preliminary texts.  It contains 248 folios (leaves) of vellum, most of which have writing or decoration on both sides.  There are 12 fully decorated pages and many more with decorated capitals.  The script is in the Irish majuscule style, written in long lines across the page. 
  • The text is a copy of the Latin Vulgate version of the New Testament, which St Jerome compiled for Pope Damasus in the late 4th century AD, in an effort to correct the standard translation of the books of the Bible.
  • There has been much discussion in the past as to the origins of the book of Durrow.  Its associations with the early Columban monastery at Durrow can be verified as early as 877Ad as well as in 916 AD, when it was enshrined in a metal case (which is now lost).
  • The book seems to be older than these dates, so it was probably written in the late 7th or 8th century.  The interlace pattern relates to designs on the Carandonagh cross, which was near the Columban monastery of Derry.  The animals on the carpet page at the beginning of the Gospel of John relate to Saxon or Germanic designs that might suggest a Columban nibastert ub Northumbria, where Saxon influence was strong.  It may have been given as a gift from the chief Columban monastery of Iona or it might have been produced at the scriptorium of Durrow itself.
  • The book we see today is in remarkably good condition considering the ups and downs of its 1,300 years of existence.       




The Book Of  Kells (c 800 AD )

The most famous of all Irish gospel books dates from the mid 18th century, a century before the book the Durrow.  It is now certain where the sumptuously decorated book of Kells was produced, but it is presumed to have been at the Columbian island monastery of Iona in Scotland.  It may have been produced to commemorate the centenary of the death of Colmcille.  It was honoured as the great gospel book of Columba during the middle ages.
It is thought to have come to Ireland with valuables and relics at the beginning of the 19th century when the community moved to found the monastery of Kells after a particularly disastrous Viking raid on Iona.
The manuscript contains the four gospels in the Irish majuscule script, brilliantly illustrated.  As well as being larger and more elaborate than previous manuscripts, the Book of Kells has new features, such as drawings between lines of quite naturalistic animals, and introduces new colours and figurative scenes not seen before, such as the virgin and child and the arrest and temptation of Christ.
  Five main colors are used in the book as well as the browns and blacks which are used to fill in the background of the full – page illustrations.  The colors are:
Red: which was made from red lead and has kept its brightness very well
Yellow: made form egg white and a mineral found in the ground.  It is called orpiment.  This color has a shiny surface and looks like gold.  It was used extensively throughout the book.
Green: was made from copper and has an emerald colour.  This color also lasted well but has an acidity which sometimes eats through the page.
Purple and Blue: have been imported to Ireland.  Purple probably came from a leaf plant found in the Mediterranean countries such as Italy.  Several shades of this color have been used.  Blue is thought to have come from the precious stone called Iapis Iazuli found in India.  This color is found in some of the ornate capital letters.
  Some pages of the manuscript are missing and all but two of the remaining 680 pages are decorated.  The ornate varies from an endless variety of decorated initials and humorous marginal drawings to pages fully covered with the most detailed illustrations and designs in strong and brilliant colors.  To an already wide variety of colors is added the new technique of covering one color with a thin wash of another.


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EUROPEAN ART HISTORY (SECTION 2 OF PAPER)



The Romanesque Period (1000 – 1200 AD)


  • Dominated Western Europe from 1000 AD until 1200.  It started in France and made a strong impact in Italy and Germany also
  • The term Romanesque which literally means ‘roman like’ was not used until the 18th century when a French art expert used the term to describe the style.


Life in medieval Europe
  • Life was hard and poverty and disease were common.
  • Much of the year was spent in darkness in horrible living conditions and there was a widespread fear that the world was going to end in the year 1000 which added even more of a sense of hopelessness.
  • There was little or no education, so hardly anyone could read or write, but devotion of the Christian faith and the firm belief that life in heaven would be better than life on earth gave people hope.


The triumph of the church
  • The church dominated medieval Europe in a political as much as a spiritual manner.  There were several important reasons for this:
  • Men of intelligence joined the clergy in great numbers.  The church was basically a democratic organization where clever men could rise from nothing to positions of immense power and influence.
  • The pope brought in new strict rules governing clergy celibacy, so the monasteries grew in strength and wealth with no question of divided inheritance
  • The church was an international institution with no allegiance to any particular state, so churchmen of ability from all over Europe became great thinkers and educators of the Romanesque period.


Romanesque art
The new powerful church had a huge influence on art.
  • New orders and monasteries were established throughout Europe and these religious communities often had a relic of a saint.  Church’s were designed to accommodate visitors who came to pray before this relic and a new style of architecture and sculpture evolved to meet these needs.
  • Pilgrimages and relics were a huge part of medieval religion.  The church encouraged religious pilgrimages as penance for sins. 
  • Pilgrims often lasted many years and frequently involved danger and hardship.  Stone church’s were erected to accommodate for the growing crowds of pilgrims.




 Romanesque & Gothic were the two major movements in art and architecture in medieval Europe.  Together they had the kind of impact on visual culture and they built an environment in Europe not seen since the Roman Empire.  These movements occurred from the 11th to the 14th centuries at a time when Europe was going through dramatic social, religious and artistic change. 

What is Romanesque?

The term Romanesque was first used in the mid 19th century.  Until then, art and architecture of the middle ages had traditionally been considered heavy and crude compared to that of the Renaissance, but the negative image changed when art historians began to describe the style as ‘Roman’.  Once the link was made to the ancient Roman art  of building, ‘romanesque’ became the accepted name for all the great phases of western culture.    It is difficult to give precise dates at which the Romanesque period began and ended it varied considered as one of the great phases of western culture

Romanesque Art & Architecture

Because of the dominant role of the Church, most Romanesque art is religious.  Architecture was the main focus of the period and the 11th and 12th centuries saw a frenzy of church building activity.  Many examples of Romanesque architecture can be seen today around Europe, but some of the finest are detailed below.


Cluny Abbey
  • Cluny Abbey in east central France is of paramount importance to Romanesque Art.  By the end of the 11th century Cluny had become extremely influential and powerful and was famous far and wide for its splendor and great wealth.
  • The Cluniac order placed great emphasis on elaborate religious services.  Singing and music were essential parts of its liturgy and the vaulting system was designed to enhance sound. 
  • It also had an extremely high regard for art, particularly architectural sculpture, using it both as ornament and as a means of spreading the message of Christianity.
  • Accounts describe not only the splendor of its beautiful carved capitals but also its arches, windows and cornices, which were surrounded by sculptured ornament.
  •  In addition, there would certainly have been murals, carpets, huge chandeliers, figures of saints, golden liturgical vestments and gleaming ornaments set with precious stones.
  • In terms of splendor, no castle or palace of the period would have compared with this abbey in any way because secular rulers had to invest most of their money in soldiers and military equipment and also because the church forbade the faithful to accumulate wealth or display it ostentatiously.

The demolition of Cluny
The church and its surrounding monastic buildings were destroyed, so the only remaining part of the abbey church is the majestic clocher de L’Eau – Benite (Holy Water Belfry)

Churches in the pilgrimage route
The style of building first explored at Cluny soon became common throughout France, Spain, Italy and England.
The churches built along each of the four main pilgrimage routes in France were remarkably similar in design.





Characteristics of a typical Romanesque Church:
  • Blocky in shape – they had a solid geometric appearance.
  • Rounded arches – Roman arches were used extensively for doors, windows, on the towers and even ornamental arcades on walls.
  • Stone roofs – The Romanesque building boom went hand in hand with a number of technological innovations, but the supreme achievement was the development of the stone vault, which not only insulated against fire but also greatly improved acoustics (sound quality)
  • Massive walls – A huge amount of stone was needed to construct high stone roofs, and in order to carry this weight, walls and pillars  had to be strong and thick.
  • Interiors – They had a dark and solemn aspect because there were few window openings (which would have weakened the walls)
  • Roman basilica – Early Christian churches were based on the roman basilica rather than roman temple.  The basilica served a general community purpose in Roman towns and this model was chosen over the round Roman temples, which had a pagan association.  Romanesque builders continued using this model.
  • Cruciform in shape – Romanesque churches were designed to cater for large crowds of pilgrims.  Crosswire transepts broke up the long nave and pilgrims could walk about the entire church without interrupting the monastic liturgy.  An ambulatory of walkway around the back of the altar facilitated viewing the relics.
  • Radiating chapels – A ring of smaller chapels called radiating chapels extended from the ambulatory and each one of these contained a minor relic.
  • Lighting – A tower or cupula (dome) on the roof over the central crossing of the transept and nave lit up this central area and had the effect of drawing pilgrims towards the altar and choir.
  • Cut stone – Many churches were built with ashlar masonry that is, even, regularly cut blocks of stone, suitable for monumental architecture.

Vaulting
Stone vaulting was absolutely necessary in Romanesque churches because fire was a constant problem and there had been many catastrophes.  Romanesque masons were able to vault the entire width of the church using the Roman model, but the exact technical knowledge developed by the Romans had been lost.  As problems developed, architects could only solve them by experimentation.
  • Barrel vaulting – was the first method tried, but the heavy stones pressed out as well as down, causing the semi circular arches to flatten, the walls to push outwards and the roof to collapse.  This problem is known as outward thrust.
  • Broken barrel vaulting was an improvement as it used pointed transverse arches, but the problem of outward thrust remained, although it look longer to develop.
  • Groin vaulting – was a further experiment in finding a solution.  This consisted of two barrel vaults intersecting at right angles.  For a while it seems as if this approach provided a solution, but the problem of outward thrust continued to plague builders for a century after.

 Romanesque Church no.1

St. Mary Magdalene in Vezelay

  • The basilica of St Mary Magdalene in Vezelay is the largest Romanesque church in France.  The Benedictine abbey was overseen by cluny and first came to fame after it acquired relics of Mary Magdalene in 1037. 
  • New miracles associated with the relic soon spread and it was officially designated by Cluny as a major stop on the Compostela route. 
  • The church was rebuilt around 1150, after a devastating fire in which 1,200 pilgrims lost their lives.  It suffered quite an amount of damage during the French revolution when its façade and one of the towers were destroyed, but it was saved from near collapse during the 19th century. 
  • The restoration was somewhat clumsily executed on the exterior but the superb sculpture inside the narthex (entrance or outer porch) has survived almost unscathed. 
  • The interior is also well preserved and the impression conveyed on entering this perfect gem of 12th century architecture is one of stately Romanesque dignity.
  • Semi circular arches divide the nave into groin-vaulted bays, creating balance, rhythm and light on a soaring upward structure.  One of Vezelay’s most notable characteristics is ochre and white stone on all its arches, which make a chequered effect and shows the influence of Islamic architecture, possibly from spain, and pilgrims traveling to and from Santiago.
  • Supporting the arches are square piers with engaged (attached) pillars on each side, surmounted by beautifully decorated carved capitals.
  • Romanesque churches were specifically designed to cater for the needs of pilgrims. 
  • Designs became more sophisticated in the 12th century and many pilgrimage churches were influenced by Cluny, but Roman and Islamic influences can also be found in the architectural features.
  • The narthex is an impressive 1,200 sq. km (4,000 sq. ft.) and the length of the nave nearly rivals the Notre-Dame in Paris.
  • Romanesque churches were specifically designed to cater for the needs of pilgrims.  Designs became more sophisticated in the 12th century and many pilgrimage churches were influenced by Cluny, but roman and islamic influences can also be found in the architectural features.


Cluny Abbey France

Cluny Abbey

Cluny Abbey 




 Cluny Abbey – Romanesque church no.2

Cluny abbey in east central France is a paramount importance to Romanesque Art.  By the end of the 11th century Cluny had become extremely influential and powerful and was famous far and wide for its splendor and great wealth.
The cluniac order placed great emphasis on elaborate religious services.  Singing and music were essential parts of its liturgy and the vaulting system was designed to enhance the sound.  It also had an extremely high regard for Art, particularly architectural sculpture, using it both as ornament and as a means of spreading the message of Christianity.
Accounts describe not only the splendor of its beautiful carved capitals but also its arches, windows and cornices, which were surrounded by sculptured ornament.  In addition, there would certainly have been murals, carpets, huge chandeliers, figures of saints, golden liturgical vestments and gleaming ornaments set with precious stones.
In terms of splendor, no castle or palace of the period would have compared with this abbey in any way because secular rulers had to invest most of their money in soldiers and military equipment and also because the church forbade the faithful to accumulate wealth or display it.
The church and the surrounding monastic buildings were destroyed, so its only remaining part of the abbey church is the majestic Clocher de l’Eau-Benite (holy water belfry)
The style of building first explored at Cluny soon became common throughout France, Spain, Italy and England.







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Art Appreciation -  
Art Gallery

Exhibitions can take months to plan and develop.  The artists want to focus on two things: the message they want to communicate and the audience it is aimed at.  There are certain things you should think about when visiting an exhibition:

Use of space: This is not just about the elements of design, but also about the spatial experience.  What is the nature, quality and design of the space used? Is it calm and peaceful or noisy and aimed towards children?  How is the spatial experience enhanced by other design elements such as light, use of colour and the shape and size of the room?  How is the space used to enhance how you experience the messages or themes in the art work? 

Lighting: This can be really important, as not only does it create or enhance a mood but it can also affect it in negative ways.  Also, textiles and paper are extremely sensitive to light damage, so conservation is a major issue when it comes to illuminating objects and displays and they can often be dimly lit for this reason.

Key messages:  What is the exhibition about?  When visiting an exhibition it’s a good idea to list the main topics/themes of the artwork.

Interpretive media & technology:  These can be touchpad, interactive, audio, video device.  How are these designed and planned to support the messages or themes?

Who is the audience:  Is it for experts or for people with little knowledge of the subject?  Is it for students, adults, children or a range of visitors?  Have the items in the exhibition been explained properly or the visitors left wondering what the artwork was about?


What type of experience is provided?
Are you being allowed to form your own opinions and thoughts or are you being given a particular viewpoint?  What objects and themes get priority?  Has anything or anyone’s viewpoint been left out?

Supporting materials:  These can be leaflets, advertisements or catalogues.  These materials are important tools for helping the organizers of the exhibition to get the message across for the audience.  Examine the graphics/text and images used in support materials.

Directions: Note the directions and signposts used in the exhibition.  Are they effective?


Placement:  Take some time to look at how paintings are placed/ hung, such as an open display or in display cases.


A visit to an art Gallery Question –


Here are points but you will write it out in essay form  & you should never re-write it directly as it is here, change it around to suit your answer......

This question is from the art history & appreciation section of the art history paper (section three)

1.      My teacher took us to Dublin this year to visit the National Gallery of Ireland.  The national gallery is just off Nassau street in the grounds of Leinster Lawn in Dublin
2.      The paintings in the National gallery of Ireland belong to all the Irish public – everyones welcome to visit the gallery and entry is free.
3.      The national gallery is open from mon – fro all day and on a half day on Sunday & visitors receive a booklet on arrival with the floor plan so that they know the layout of the gallery, this is helpful as the gallery is huge.  All the rooms were named on this plan and the centuries that the paintings came from.  Each wing is colour coded – the gallery has 4 wings.
4.      Before I visited the national gallery I thought it was only for wealthy artistic people but after my visit my opinion has changed.  I now know that an art gallery is a place where works of art are cared for and displayed for everyone to visit & enjoy.
5.      We had a guide who showed us around the gallery and explained the different rooms & paintings to us.
6.      We were not allowed to touch the paintings as they are very fragile & very old.
7.      The galleries paintings are all arranged by themes eg: still life / landscapes etc.
8.      When you walk around the gallery you ask yourself: What is the story of the painting? Why did the artist create it? Where was it meant to hang, in a palace/ monastery or a house? Does it fall into any of the themes in the history of art such as portraits, narratives, landscape, mythology etc.  We are also told to consider when looking at the paintings , did it make us feel happy, sad, angry, frightened etc?  And did we like the painting or not?
We visited the ‘Yeats room’ the famous Irish painter Jack B Yeats.  This room is different from the rest of the gallery.  The lighting is low and it is like that to protect & preserve the paintings done in watercolour and oil.  There is also a glass barrier to protect the paintings,  The low lighting makes the room very peaceful & creates a special atmosphere. And strong light may damage the paintings.  Because the oil paint is applied very thickly your natural reaction is to want to touch it (the texture) and the paint was applied with brushes & palette knives.
9.      Yeats love to paint scenes from the west of Ireland.  His paintings in the gallery are arranged from his early simple life drawings to his heavily applied knife paintings.  The paintings are hung at eye level with info underneath it about each painting.
10. My two favourite paintings by Yeats are ‘The liffey swim’ &  ‘Grief’.
11. The liffey swim – the subject matter of this painting is a sporting event in Dublin.  We see a crowd cheering on swimmers as they swim up the liffey.  We feel that we are actually looking at the race from where the crowd was standing.  We can see a boy in a green hat trying to work his way into the crowd to sell papers.  Yeats paints himself into the painting (something the does quite often) along with his wife Cotty.  They are in the foreground, she wears a fancy hat and he wears a grey hat with a black band.
12. Grief – this painting is very emotional.  The subject matter (what the painting is about) is about war.  It is a painting about the civil war in Ireland.  In the centre there is a man on a horse with his arms raised.  He seems to be angry.  To the left of him I can see soldiers carrying rifles.  A person in green leaves the scene.  In the foreground Yeats shows the victims of war, a mother trying to comfort her dying baby, there is an old man on his knees with his hands in his face.  He is either praying or just in despair.  The gable of a house can be seen in the background with an explosion going off to the left.  In the distance I can see a background of the sun rising which maybe is a symbol of hope.
13. From his traditional period, ‘The Liffey Swim’ captures the excitement of this annual event in Dublin, but sporting events were always of interest to him.He painted with loose brush strokes in his later works and emotion became a stronger feature in his work. He felt that the paintings could speak for themselves, he said ‘It doesn’t matter who I am or what I am, people may think what they will of my pictures’.
14. Another of Yeats most common images involved horses, and though he was never a horseman himself, he had a great affection for them.  ‘For the Road’ expresses the understanding between horse and rider and the light of hope and optimism at the end of the tunnel.  He died in March 1957 and has gained widespread international recognition as Irelands most renowned painter.
15. I really enjoyed my visit to the national gallery and I hope to return very soon to view all of the fantastic paintings from history.



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Here are the guidelines I would give in relation to answering this question on the art appreciation section on the paper.
Find out the following information
Artists-
Background information
Style
Influences

Exhibition-
Description of gallery space (shape,floors/wall)
Lighting- natural/artificial-positioning
Layout- Chronological/thematic/other
Information about the exhibition- (work, labelling)
Framing- are the artworks framed/canvas'

Describe 3 pieces-
Title
Medium
Format (landscape/portrait/irregular)
Composition
Colour
Use of Materials
Does the painting show the art elements? (texture/line/shape)

If you gather all this information while at the exhibition you should be able to answer the question successfully. 

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Example of Art gallery Essay - This got an A. It's about the Hughe Lane Gallery and two works of Art, but you will discuss the Jack B Yeats exhibition in the National Gallery of Ireland.

I recently visited the Hugh Lane Dublin City Gallery on a class trip. I had visited the gallery once before but on this occasion I gad a better knowledge of art and the techniques used in its appreciation. So I had a better awareness and understanding of the gallery structure.
The gallery is located in Charlemont house in north Dublin. This is a fitting setting as the building is of neo-classical design and many of the works on display date from this period. The gallery display modern and contemporary art, with substantial collection of impressionism.
Charlemont house was designed for Lord Charlemont by the architect Sir. William Chambers. The building did not become the Hugh Lane Gallery until 1933, when the Hugh Lane collection was relocated to the house. Hugh Lane was a philanthropist who spent much of his life collecting fine examples of art. Having no previous knowledge of art he chose pieces based on the opinions of his friends, eventually forming his own eye for art. Lane would raise the money for the art by asking the wealthy for donation and getting deals from artists who would offer him a lower price or even donate the work for free. Hugh Lane demanded that these works be made freely available to the public and this was upheld in his will as they were transfered into state ownership.
I noticed that the layout of the building is well designed to display works of art as the house is designed with as series of networking rooms. This means that each room leads on to the other as was originally intended for socialising. Although this wasn't part of the original house, it still would of been important to Sir Hugh Lane to be able to entertain in the house.
Today is means that the progression from room to room flows naturally and allows an orders and chronological hanging of the work while allowing the viewer to focus on the paintings in a single room.
Each painting is also given its own space to focus on, with no more than two to a wall. In addition smaller painting are often hung adjacent to larger painting to put emphasis on size and scale. Paintings are usually hung with the centre of the picture being around eye level as this allows the best view of the painting. Tags are never placed near the entrance of the room, rather than the doorway so as not to detract from the paintings themselves.
The information given is usually; the title, the artist, medium, the date painted, birth and death of artist along with a brief history of the artist life and work. To surmise, all of the above techniques mean that the work is presented in a very clear and informative manner which effectively engages the viewer.
Modern technology has allowed for an even more comprehensive background of the artist, such as the interactive video screens in the Francis Bacon studio. There is also a movie room where there is an interview with Francis Bacon shown on screen which is viewed before entering the studio. The gallery also has a book ship with an extensive range of subjects allowing patrons to learn more about the artwork after their visit.
In old galleries the walls are painted in rich victorian colours, in keeping with the period of the displayed. A number of skylights are in place to provide natural lights along with spotlights angles at the wall (to prevent glare).
The newer galleries, such as the Francis Bacon studio, are generally all white with no frames on the paintings, allowing the viewer to focus on the work itself. Large skylight provide a great amount of natural light, along with artificial adjustable spots on sliding mounts.
The gallery also has certain artifacts which are highlighted so as to draw out their characteristics. For example, the Harry Clarke room is devoted entirely to displays of stained glass. The room is almost completely dark with black walls and very soft, low lighting. Each piece of stained glass is placed in front of its own light source, slotted into the wall. This draws out all of the unique colours of the glass and completely focuses the viewer's attention on the work.
The Francis Bacon Studio is one of the only three preserved studios in the world. To do this every detail of Bacon's studio in London was recorded, the disassembled and reassembled in the Hugh Lane Gallery. The studio gives a fantastic insight into Bacon's work and the creative processes behind it. It is located in a newer parts of the gallery, designed with the sole purpose of highlighting Bacon's work. The studio is seen before Bacon's paintings, allowing the viewer to better appreciate the work.
While visiting the gallery there were two paintings on display that I found particularly appealing. Both were impressionist works, painted by Claude Monet. The first "Lavacourt under snow" is a landscape painting depicting a few small picturesque houses in the countryside covered by snow. The painting is very tranquil with small quick brushstrokes, capturing the fading light and pale pinks of the sky.The painting was hung in its original frame in the style of the late 19th Century.
The second painting is called "Waterloo Brigde", by Monet. Monet spent a considerable amount of time in London. While there, he made many paintings of the Thames, enjoying the way the fog influenced the light and its effect on the water. The painting shows waterloo bridge from an obscured angle with part of the bridge cut off and out of frame. The painting shows the bridge in the early hours of the morning with a heavy mist present. The pale pinks and reds of the rising sun can be seen distorted in the water. London city can be seen in the background, obscured and slightly out of focus.
Monet is renowned for his brilliant renditions of light at the different times of day. In addition his penchant for capturing a scene of natural beauty in a man made and industrial environment is clearly evident and particularly effective when viewed in person.
I thoroughly enjoyed my art gallery visit as I was able to fully see the skill and artistry that is used in a gallery to highlight and focus the works of art on display. In addition seeing many of the paintings I have studied in person mean that I now have a better understanding and appreciation of them.

______________________________________________________

2009 paper
17. A visit to an exhibition is best judged by the quality of art work on display and by the
gallery space itself..

 - Discuss this statement with reference to any named exhibition you have
visited.
and
 - Discuss two specific works from this exhibition in detail.
Use sketches to illustrate your answer.



2009 Q17 Marking scheme
A Name of Gallery/Exhibition. 10
B Discussion of statement with reference to visited exhibition . 10
C Detailed discussion of work 1. 10
D Detailed discussion of work 2. 10
E Sketches 10

Total : 50



Sample Answer:


  The gallery I have visited and will discuss in my answer is the National Gallery of Ireland.  The national gallery is just off Nassau street in the grounds of Leinster Lawn in Co.Dublin I had visited this gallery once before but on my most recent visit I had a better knowledge of art and the techniques used in its appreciation so I had a better awareness and understanding of the gallery structure and art work on display there, in particular the work of Irish artist Jack B.Yeats work displayed in the Yeats room which I will discuss in detail later.  
The paintings in the National gallery of Ireland belong to all the Irish public, everyone’s welcome to visit the gallery and entry is free.

  I noticed that the structure and layout of the building is well designed to display  all of the different works of art, as the gallery flows from room to room so that each room leads on to next.  This gallery is very well laid out and on arrival visitors receive a booklet with the floor plan so that they know the layout of the gallery and can find their way around easily, this is helpful as the gallery is very large and spacious and you could easily get lost.  All of the exhibition rooms in this gallery were named on the plan and the centuries that the paintings came from.  Each wing is colour coded  & the gallery has 4 wings.  We had a guide who showed us around the gallery and explained the different rooms & paintings to us.  The galleries paintings are all arranged by themes eg: still life / landscapes etc.  The overall atmosphere in this gallery is very calm and peaceful and the rooms are very large and spacious with lots of room for visitors to walk around and enjoy the Art work on display.  .
 

  I agree with the statement above that a visit to an art exhibition is best judged by the quality of art work on display’ and one exhibition on display in particular caught my attention and I feel this is the reason I really enjoyed my visit to this gallery.  Before I visited the national gallery I thought it was only for wealthy artistic people but after my visit my opinion has changed.  I now know that an art gallery is a place where works of art are cared for and displayed for everyone to visit & enjoy.
   We visited the ‘Yeats room’ featuring the art work of the famous Irish painter Jack B Yeats.  This room is different from the rest of the gallery.  The lighting is low and it is like that to protect & preserve the paintings done in watercolor and oil.  There is also a glass barrier to protect the paintings. The low lighting makes the room very peaceful & creates a special atmosphere. And strong light may damage the paintings.  Because the oil paint is applied very thickly your natural reaction is to want to touch it (the texture) and the paint was applied with large brushes & palette knives.  Yeats loved to paint scenes from the west of Ireland.  His paintings in the gallery are arranged from his early simple life drawings to his heavily applied knife paintings.  The paintings are hung at eye level with info underneath it about each painting.
My two favourite paintings on exhibit in the national gallery of Ireland in te ‘Yeats room’ by Yeats are ‘The liffey swim’ &  ‘Grief’.
The liffey swim – the subject matter of this painting is a sporting event in Dublin.  We see a crowd cheering on swimmers as they swim up the liffey.  We feel that we are actually looking at the race from where the crowd was standing.  We can see a boy in a green hat trying to work his way into the crowd to sell papers.  Yeats paints himself into the painting (something the does quite often) along with his wife Cotty.  They are in the foreground, she wears a fancy hat and he wears a grey hat with a black band.
Grief – this painting is very emotional.  The subject matter (what the painting is about) is about war.  It is a painting about the civil war in Ireland.  In the centre there is a man on a horse with his arms raised.  He seems to be angry.  To the left of him I can see soldiers carrying rifles.  A person in green leaves the scene.  In the foreground Yeats shows the victims of war, a mother trying to comfort her dying baby, there is an old man on his knees with his hands in his face.  He is either praying or just in despair.  The gable of a house can be seen in the background with an explosion going off to the left.  In the distance I can see a background of the sun rising which maybe is a symbol of hope.
From his traditional period, ‘The Liffey Swim’ captures the excitement of this annual event in Dublin, but sporting events were always of interest to him.He painted with loose brush strokes in his later works and emotion became a stronger feature in his work. He felt that the paintings could speak for themselves, he said ‘It doesn’t matter who I am or what I am, people may think what they will of my pictures’.
  Another of Yeats most common images involved horses, and though he was never a horseman himself, he had a great affection for them.  ‘For the Road’ expresses the understanding between horse and rider and the light of hope and optimism at the end of the tunnel.  He died in March 1957 and has gained widespread international recognition as Irelands most renowned painter.
  
  In conclusion I really enjoyed my visit to the national gallery of Ireland & the Yeats room and I hope to return very soon to view all of the fantastic paintings from history. 


Illustrate your answer - so you would sketch a plan of the layout & strucutre of this gallery & also sketch your two names pieces of work by artist Jack B Yeats.








Art gallery Question
Exam Paper Questions
2013)
Q. 7. Answer (a) and (b).
 A curator’s work involves planning all aspects of an exhibition whether it is for display
in a national or local gallery or museum.
 (a) With reference to a named exhibition you have visited, describe and discuss the
main steps taken by the curator when planning for and mounting this exhibition.
 (b) If you were a curator how would you go about curating an exhibition of Transition
Year artwork in your school?
 Illustrate your answer

2012
Q. A vast array of art, craft and heritage images is now available in the Internet.  Are visits to galleries/ museums / heritage sites any longer central to the appreciation of such works?  Give reasons for your answer making reference to internet examples and two specific works from a named exhibition you have studied.  Illustrate your answer.


2011 exam
Q. Answer A) B) & c)
a) Describe & discuss the presentation and layout of an exhibition in a named gallery, museum or interpretative centre that you have recently visited.
b) Outline how the experience could help you to organize an exhibition in your own school for open day.
c) Briefly describe one work that impressed you during your visit.
- Illustrate your answer.

Mock 2011
Q. The layout of an exhibition impacts upon the viewers understanding & appreciation of the artwork displayed.  Discuss this statement with reference to any named exhibition you have visited.  Discuss briefly your own design ideas that would improve one of the gallery rooms of your chosen exhibition. - Illustrate your answer

2010
Q. Local, small scale galleries are to be found in many towns across the country and provide a beneficial service to the community.
- Discuss this statement with reference to any named local, small scale gallery.  Compare a visit that you have made to a small scale gallery with a visit to a named national gallery or museum.
- Illustrate your answer

2009
Q. A visit to an exhibition is best judged by the quality of art work on display and by the gallery space itself.  Discuss this statement with reference to any named exhibition you have visited.
And
 - Discuss two specific works from this exhibition in detail.
-Illustrate your answer.

2008
Q. An art gallery/museum is an environment designed to display artworks and can help us to a greater understanding and appreciation of art.
A. Discuss this statement with reference to a recent visit to a named museum or art gallery, describing in detail two named works
And….
B. Discuss briefly how your study of these art works enhanced your own practical work
-Illustrate your answer

2007
Q. Answer (a) & (b)
(a) Name a museum or gallery you have visited recently and discuss, in detail, two works that impressed you,.
(b) If you were offered a number of the works from this exhibition on loan to your school suggest a suitable location to display them, and discuss layout, lighting and any other aids you would use to enhance the display.
-Illustrate your answer

2006
Q. Exhibition catalogues, information sheets and tourist guides can provide reference information for a visit to an art gallery, museum or national monument.
(a) Describe, in your own words, how such information impacted on your visit to a gallery/museum/national monument
(B)Discuss the characteristics of a good catalogue
-Illustrate your answer



_____________________________________________________________________________


Here are the guidelines I would give in relation to answering this question on the art appreciation section on the paper.

Find out the following information
Artists-
Background information
Style
Influences

Exhibition-
Description of gallery space (shape,floors/wall)
Lighting- natural/artificial-positioning
Layout- Chronological/thematic/other
Information about the exhibition- (work, labelling)
Framing- are the artworks framed/canvas'

Describe 3 pieces-
Title
Medium
Format (landscape/portrait/irregular)
Composition
Colour
Use of Materials
Does the painting show the art elements? (texture/line/shape)

If you gather all this information while at the exhibition you should be able to answer
the question successfully.

_______________________________________




Leaving Cert. Art History
-      REVISION sheet –

STONE AGE –
·        Background on the stone age
·        Stone age architecture
·        Stone age technology
·        Meslithic, Neolithic, megalithic periods
·        Portral dolmen, court cairn & passage grave – be able to draw all
·        Newgrange – about it/background info., winter solstice, entrance stone, kerbstone, corbelled roof, basin stones, construction, techniques, decoration, corbelling, and interpretation – Be able to draw Newgrange & all of the above.

EARLY CHRISTIAN IRELAND –
·        Book of Kells
·        Ardagh Chalice
·        Tara Brooch
·        Manuscripts

THE BRONZE AGE –
·        Background info – about it
·        Bronze age structures/ architecture
·        Metalwork
·        Decorative gold objects
·        Sun disc – know all & be able to draw
·        Lunula – know all info & be able to draw
·        Torc – know all info & be able to draw
·        Broighter collar  - know all info & be able to draw
·        Gold disc
·        Gorget – the Gleninsheen gorget
·        Gold hair lock rings
·        Lizamore crozier – be able to draw it
·        Dress fastener – be able to draw it
·        La Tene Style – know well.
·        Irish bronze trumpet – be able to draw it also.
·        Bronze age decoration methods – repousse – incision – twisting and flange twisting.



ROMANESQUE –
·        What is Romanesque/background?
·        Architecture
·        Know the church – St. Mary magdelaine in Vezelay (be able to draw it )
·        Sculpture – background, about it, tympanum of the Pentecost & the weighing of souls  - be able to draw all.
·        Know all of the characteristics of Romanesque Church- also know a second church Cluny abbey incase you are asked to talk about a second.
·        Know all of the following info - Triumph of the church – church organisation – strong papal authority – monasteries – the 2 prominent orders (be able to name) – relics and pilgrimages – life in medieval Europe – Romanesque Art.


GOTHIC –
·        Architecture
·        Chartres Cathedral – know all info on this & be able to draw
·        Notre Dame Cathedral & be able to draw also.
·        Gothic stained Glass – rose windows in the chartres cathedral & the blue virgin window – the technique also.
·        Characteristics of Gothic Architecture
·        Gothic Sculpture – the royal portal at chartres, transition from the Romanesque, column statues, the saints, the royal portal, the north portal – be able to draw all the sculptures you discuss.

ART APPRECIATION –
·        A visit to an art gallery – the national gallery of Ireland – yeats room & jack b. Yeats exhibition
·        Jack B. Yeats – know very well – background info & biography – know the liffey swim & be able to draw – And know for the road.
·        You need to be able to draw both paintings by J. B Yeats in detail – use colour if you want.
·        Know the handout I gave you with the following & be able to give your own opinion. – Use of space – lighting – key messages – interpretive media & technology – who is the audience – what type of experience is provided – supporting materials – directions/handouts/leaflets etc – placement of the work – layout  etc....
·        Very important that you go through the handout I gave out with all the past exam paper questions on it so you can see the various ways in which this question has been asked in the past.

Remember art history is worth 37.5% of your overall Art exam so is very important  - the art history paper is 150marks & you have three sections to answer 1 ) Irish Art – you answer ONE question from this 2) E.U art – you answer ONE question from this 3) Art Appreciation – You answer ONE question from this.
All answers should be written in essay format – 2-3 pages & a page for your sketches – use your drawing skills to add details and fix up the sketches & very important that all sketches are LABELLED!









6 comments:

  1. Some fantastic work - the Art History notes are very useful :)
    Cheers, Ultan of https://www.maximumpoints.ie/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Some fantastic work - the Art History notes are very useful :)
    Cheers, Ultan of https://www.maximumpoints.ie/

    ReplyDelete
  3. Some fantastic work - the Art History notes are very useful :)
    Cheers, Ultan of MaximumPoints

    ReplyDelete
  4. Some fantastic work - the Art History notes are very useful :)
    Cheers, Ultan of MaximumPoints

    ReplyDelete
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