Imsh CeLfic Nletalujorzk

Gaelic Culture

The technical skills needed to produce these masterpieces in metalwork had existed for centuries. Casting, engraving, raising, and tinning procedures had already been developed by the time the Romans left Britain early in the fifth century. The curvilinear low-relief patterns of the La Tine period were translated into a new form with increased complexity, and applied to a wider range of objects. These included brooches, pins, bowls, and bracelets.

In Ireland more than anywhere else in the Celtic world, artistic styles developed with relatively little interference from outside influences. Certainly Roman, Saxon, or Frankish influences would have been present, but in broad terms, Irish metalwork represents a linear development from early La Tenc roots. Irish society remained relatively unchanged throughout the period from the first to the fifth centuries Al), and the advent of Christianity provided a fresh demand for metalwork. While elsewhere Celts were engaged in warfare and rebellion, in Ireland a relatively stable political climate favored patronage of the arts. The only other area in Europe to remain equally free of external influences was Ilctland, and their extraordinary legacy was in stone, not in metal (seepages 148-149).

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