The Art of Anglo-Saxon England

March 2016
12 colour, 82 black and white illustrations
350 pages
24.4x17.2 cm
Boydell Studies in Medieval Art and Architecture
Boydell Press
BISAC ART015000, SOC003000

The Art of Anglo-Saxon England

Catherine E. Karkov


Hardback out of stock

A fresh appraisal of the art of Anglo-Saxon England, focusing on art as an aesthetic vehicle and art as an active political force.
Two particular perspectives inform this wide-ranging and richly illustrated survey of the art produced in England, or by English artists, between c. 600 and c.1100, in a variety of media, manuscripts, stone and wooden sculpture, ivory carving, textiles, and architecture. Firstly, from a post-colonial angle, it examines the way art can both create and narrate national and cultural identity over the centuries during which England was coming into being, moving from Romano-Britain to Anglo-Saxon England to Anglo-Scandinavian England to Anglo-Norman England. Secondly, it treats Anglo-Saxon art as works of art, works that have both an aesthetic and an emotional value, rather than as simply passive historical or archaeological objects. This double focus on art as an aesthetic vehicle and art as an active political force allows us to ask questions not only about what makes something a work of art, but what makes it endure as such, as well as questions about the work that art does in the creation of peoples, cultures, nations and histories.

Professor Catherine Karkov teaches in the School of Fine Art, University of Leeds.

Table of Contents

The Art of Origins
Sacred Space
Art, Status and Authority
Object and Voice
Books, Words and Bodies
Art and Conquest


A pleasure to read....The examples help explain the subtle, nuanced ways in which art can reveal the complexity of the social and political developments of the period. SAXON

[A] masterful survey. ARCHAEOLOGICAL JOURNAL

A challenging work and one that should be recommended to all who are interested in the art of Anglo-Saxon England. MEDIEVAL ARCHAEOLOGY

An enlightening general survey. NORTHERN HISTORY

[A] fine scholarly book. [...] Recommended. CHOICE

[A] civilized, sensitive and welcome addition to the study of Anglo-Saxon art. [...] Karkov is edifying and illuminating. TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

A stunningly rich book. [...] Boydell Press produces books that will bring you both knowledge and a lifetime's pleasure. YORKSHIRE GAZETTE AND HERALD

Also by Author

Also in Series

Related Titles