The Fau And Rise of The Celtic Cross

The advent of the Gothic art style led to the end of the Celtic high cross. In prosperous places, more ornate architectural styles were favoured, and high crosses were superseded. In remote, poorer areas, such as the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, the Celtic high cross was simplified, eventually losing its main characteristics. However, although the ornate high crosses were no longer made, the tradition of Celtic interlace art did not die out, but was maintained throughout the middle ages by craftspeople in Ireland, parts of Wales and the west Highlands of Scotland. Appropriately, the holy island of Iona remained a significant centre of the tradition. The medieval sculptors who carved grave-slabs in the west Highlands re-interpreted the traditional interlace patterns once used on high crosses in combination with contemporary artistic styles. In Ireland and Wales, too, the knowledge of the art did not die out, but adapted itself according to the tastes of the time.

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