Jonas Lau Markussen

Style I

The Anatomy of Germanic Art






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The Anatomy of Style I


c. 450 – 550






1. Spirals and spiral patterns.
2. Striation/Hatching patterns.
3. Striated pellets for joints.
4. Heads in profile.
5. Heads facing forward.
6. Boat-shaped eyes.
7. Open mouth with long jaws and curling lips.
8. Short, downwards-curving mouth.
9. Crescent-shaped eyebrow-bow.
10. Almond-shaped hips.
11. Leaf-like feet with curved outlines.
12. Feet with toe-fronds.
13. Curling back-toes occur.





Even outlines with slight tapering.





A mix of geometric and wavy curves.


A. S-shapes.
B. Single loops.





  • Very tight interlace with almost no visible background.
  • Double contour occur.
  • Single-stranded ribbons.
  • Double-stranded ribbons.
  • Multi-stranded ribbons.
  • High relief.
  • Ribbons are broken into panels by intersection.
  • Only two line widths.






  • Carpet-like distribution of motifs and shapes of equal size and equal compositional value (A, C).
  • Geometric and zoomorphic framework (A).
  • Compositions based on line-symmetry (A, B).
  • Triskellion or swastika compositions of 3-fold and 4-fold rotational-symmetrical animal heads (D).






  • Geometric patterns (A, D).
  • Four-legged animals (A, B).
  • Animal Heads (A, D).
  • Human figures (C).




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