Jonas Lau Markussen

The Anatomy of Viking Art

A Quick Guide to the Styles of Norse Animal Ornament

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Where do you even start?

The Norse artwork of the Viking Age is incredibly captivating, with its intricate interlacing patterns and fierce animal figures woven together into some of the most exceptional expressions of art created by mankind.

But as fascinating as it may be to look at, it may be as difficult to understand exactly how these patterns are constructed, and even more difficult to understand how to recreate them.


Get Familiar with the Styles

This guide breaks down the styles of Viking Age art in an easy to understand manner, to help you to quickly acquire a good grasp of its anatomy.

Clear illustrations and graphics straightforwardly present the characteristics of each style, so you'll be able to easily distinguish each from the others, and understand how one style developed into the next and how to recreate them in an authentic manner.

Painting the Full Picture

The accompanying timelines, maps and concise historical descriptions further help you to root your understanding of the styles in their historical context.

Whether you need a quick and succinct introduction to the world of Viking Age art, or you need a useful reference guide for your continued study and recreation of the art styles, this guide has you covered.


Read Online

The whole guide is freely available to read in it’s entirety online. Select a chapter to begin.

The characteristics of each style are described under the headings of shapes, outlines, flow, pattern, composition and motifs.

Historical events are linked to the style period through a short description and a visual timeline.

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Hardcover & Paperback

The book measures 7×10 in or 254×178 mm, with a glossy black & white cover and 80 black & white pages printed on 70 lb paper.

Whether you choose the affordable paperback or the sturdy hardcover edition, the book will be printed on demand and directly distributed worldwide.

It’s available everywhere books are sold. You can get it through the retailers listed below, find it by searching for it on your favourite online store, or by asking for it at your local bookstore.


Denmark: Saxo | Bog&Idé | Plusbog

Norway: Adlibris | Akademika

Sweden: Bokus | Adlibris

Germany: Hugendubel | Thalia | Osiander

UK: Waterstones | Hive

USA: | Barnes&Noble

Worldwide: Horns Of Odin

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The e-book is perfect for quick reference when you are on the go, or for sharing with a group of peers or your students.

The book is published under the cc-by-nc-sa license, which essentially means that as long as you copy and share the content without receiving compensation, you may do so as much as you like.

So please share the knowledge with whomever you know who might find it interesting or useful.

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Download the Illustrations from the Book

All illustrations presented in this guide are freely available for download.

You can use the designs free of charge for any personal project, and if you want to use them for a commercial product, there is an affordable option for that too.