Jonas Lau Markussen

Early Animal Style

The Anatomy of Germanic Art

 

 

 

 

 

This article is a work in progress and will be updated.

 

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The Anatomy of Early Animal Style

 

c. 375 – 475

 

 

 

Shapes

 

1. Geometric ornamentation: triquetras/triskelions, arches, circles and dots.
2. Heads in Profile
3. Round Eyes
4. Open outwards-curling jaws
5. Pointy chin.
6. Boat-shaped ears.
7. Simple, almost almond-shaped hips.
8. Feet with toe-fronds.

 

 

Outlines

 

Even outlines without tapering or indents.

 

 

Flow

 

Simple wavy curves.

 

A. S-shapes.

 

 

Pattern

 

  • Interlace rarely occurs.
  • Loose interlace with visible background.
  • Single-stranded ribbons.
  • Double-stranded ribbons.
  • Triple-stranded ribbons.
  • Uniform line widths.

 

 

 

Composition

 

  • Simple compositions based on line symmetry (A, B, C, D).
  • A blend of geometric and zoomorphic framework (C).
  • A preference for spiral terminals as main ornamental elements (C, D).

 

 

 

Motifs

 

  • Pelta shapes (C).
  • Ribbon animals (A, B, D).
  • Four-legged animals (B).
  • Animals with front legs only and curly tails (A, D).
  • Human faces (D).
  • Animal-head terminals (C).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Examples

 

 

Examples on Gelmir.com →

A list of examples with photos, info and links to sources.

 

 

 

Undateable

 

Belt Mounts

Nydam, Jylland, Denmark.
Nationalmuseet, København, -.

 

Brooch — Hol

Hol, Trøndelag, Norway.
NTNU Vitenskapsmuseet, Trondheim, T9826.

 

Brooch — Skerne

Skerne, Falster, Denmark.
Nationalmuseet, København, C288.

 

Cups

Himlingøje, Sjælland, Denmark.
Nationalmuseet, København, MCMXXXVI.

 

Equal-armed Brooch — Galsted

Galsted, Jylland, Denmark.
Nationalmuseet, København, DCCXXXVIII.

 

Equal-armed Brooch — Hol

Hol, Trøndelag, Norway.
NTNU Vitenskapsmuseet, Trondheim, T9823.000.

 

Horn (short)

Gallehus, Jylland, Denmark.
Nationalmuseet, København, 19015.

 

Horn (long)

Gallehus, Jylland, Denmark.
Nationalmuseet, København, 18964.

 

Horse Tack — Sösdala

Sösdala, Skåne, Sweden.
Historiska Museet i Lund, Lund, 25 570.

 

Horse Tack — Fulltofta

Fulltofta, Skåne, Sweden.
Historiska Museet i Lund, Lund, 14 080.

 

Mounts

Sjörup, Skåne, Sweden.
Historiska Museet i Lund, Lund, -.

 

Sheath — Kragehul

Kragehul, Fyn, Denmark.
Nationalmuseet, København, C2250-22469.

 

Sheath — Nydam, NM. NV. 7311

Nydam, Als, Denmark.
Nationalmuseet, København, NM. NV. 7311.

 

Sheath — Nydam, –

Nydam, Als, Denmark.
Nationalmuseet, København, -.

 

Sheath mounts

Ejsbøl Mose, Jylland, Denmark.
Nationalmuseet, København, HAM E10976; HAM E8940; HAM E9068; HAM E7724; HAM E9287; HAM E9286.

 

Square-headed Brooch — Hol

Hol, Trøndelag, Norway.
NTNU Vitenskapsmuseet, Trondheim, T9822.000.

 

Square-headed Brooch — Lunde

Lunde, Agder, Norway.
Universitetsmuseet i Bergen, Bergen, B3543.

 

Sword — Kragehul

Kragehul, Fyn, Denmark.
Nationalmuseet, København, MDLXXXI.

 

 

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