Celtic Culture

 

 

Celtic Art Treasures

 Through the centuries, Celtic artisans gained a reputation for mastery in metal work. From the sixth century onwards, the art treasures created in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales reinforced themes of spirituality, faith, and love.

Cairn 

For today’s art connoisseurs (or anyone interested in Celtic culture), the art treasures of yesteryear provide a vantage point that is unique and resonant. Here are some of the Emerald Isle’s most revered, priceless artifacts:

The Tara Brooch -

Celtic jewelry of the past and present is often ornate and engraved with symbols that carry special meanings. The ancient Tara Brooch is one such piece - its delicate motifs and designs, and well as its exquisite craftsmanship, make it a stellar example of the Celtic art form.

Currently displayed at the National Museum Of Ireland in the Emerald Isle’s capital city, Dublin, the Tara Brooch measures seven inches long. This singular piece features careful inlaying, filigree work, and carving. Crafted of amber, glass, copper, gold and silver, it showcases painstaking attention to detail, and fine examples of Celtic symbolism.

On the brooch, zoomorphic (animal) symbols depict the heads of wolves and dragons. In Celtic culture, these animal symbols are used to denote the special characteristics of the animals or mythical creatures. Traits like strength, wisdom, and magical ability are celebrated in each carving.

Created as a symbol of power and status (probably for a wealthy Irishman who commissioned its design), the Tara Brooch is luxurious, and made mostly of silver and gold. Historians believe the brooch was created around 700 AD.

Today, Celtic rings and Celtic jewelry are created by hand in Ireland - today’s artisans honor the old traditions by using animal symbols and Celtic knot work (which also appears on the Tara Brooch’s surface) to add richness and dimension to modern pieces.

 

The Book Of Kells -

Created by Irish monks to tell the four stories of the Gospel, this illuminated text is considered the greatest art treasure in the Emerald isle. Currently housed at Trinity College, Dublin, the Book of Kells rests in the Old Library, where many visitors marvel at its beauty and spiritual significance each and every year…

Also known as the Book of Columba, the Book of Kells was created in the year 800, and its pages are decorated in the Insular Illumination style. Knot work borders, vibrant colors, and Western calligraphy come together in a dazzling array of rich ornamentation.

The Celtic knots and spirals that add beauty to the Book of Kells have become time-honored symbols of the Celtic people. In fact, many people choose Celtic engagement rings that feature these symbols when they marry. The sense of faith, eternity, and spirituality evoked by these popular symbols is a testament to their simplicity and power…

The Book Of Kells was named for the Abbey Of Kells, where the book was first created. Each page of this masterpiece is filled with drawings of figures, beasts, and magical creatures. If you’re ever close to Dublin, this illuminated manuscript should be a must-see…

Ireland’s Art Treasures Tell A Story…

These art treasures are just a couple of examples - there are many more beautiful pieces on display in Ireland. The Ardagh Chalice, a large cup with handles, features warrior symbols, encrusted jewels, and the finest metal work imaginable. This Irish war treasure was discovered buried in a field, probably to hide it from invaders who would carry it away as plunder.

Each Irish treasure tells it own story…if you are of Irish or Celtic heritage, you will enjoy learning more about all of the secrets of these precious works of art…

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