PosfCeLtic Arct

11th Century Ireland

m independent Celtic culture effectively came to an end at the start of the 12th century. The last truly Celtic king of Scotland was Macbeth, and after his death in the mid-11th century, Scotland gradually became a state ruled by a Scottish Norman aristocracy. In Ireland, Norse occupation ended in the mid-11 th century, but a wave of English and even Scottish Norman settlers continued to undermine the vestiges of Celtic identity. By the 13th century, the island could no longer lie regarded as truly Celtic, since like Scotland or Wales its rulers were non-Celts.

This change also influenced Celtic art, and manuscripts produced in formerly Celtic areas were influenced more by Anglo-Norman artistic traditions than by older indigenous forms. Celtic identity had effectively ceased to exist.

The exception was in the west of Scotland, where ecclesiastical sculpture, such as tombstones and

Although the "golden age" of Celtic art had ended by the 12th century, Celtic influences continued to make themselves felt in Scotland and Ireland. These post-Celtic pieces combined a simplistic Celtic artistry with influences drawn from the rest of medieval Europe. At a time when the British Isles were effectively dominated by the Anglo-Normans, this older artistic-tradition helped keep alive a link with an almost forgotten Celtic past.

crosses, betrayed Celtic influence as late as the 17th century. However, the influence of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Norman art can also be detected in these works. The monastery of Iona was the leading exponent ot this continued Celtic tradition, although the Argyll peninsula also retained strong Celtic artistic influences until the 16th century.

Below: This late 8th-century gilded silver sword pommel, found near Woodeaton, Oxfordshire, England displays strong Anglo-Saxon influences.

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