added by archaeologs An art style of the European Iron Age, c 500 BC, developed presumably by Celtic peoples. It originated on the middle Rhine River, extending to the upper Danube and the Marne. Its finest specimens are from the British Isles in the first century BC and AD. It appears most commonly in bronzework or other metals, weapons and horse gear, eating and drinking vessels, personal ornaments, and monumental stone carvings. It seems likely that the craftsmen worked under the direct patronage of the chieftains. Techniques employed were decoration in relief, engraving, and inlay. Stylistically, Celtic art combines elements taken from the classical world, from the Scythians to the east and from the local earlier Hallstatt Iron Age. The art developed into several styles in continental Europe (Early, Waldalgesheim, Plastic and Sword styles) but came to an end with the Roman occupation. In Ireland, the art style returned after the Roman withdrawal.
added by archaeologs Name given to the art of the European Iron Age, which developed in central and western Europe from the 5th century bc, among presumed Celtic peoples. The term La TEne art is also used. Celtic art developed in the courts of the La Tene chieftains and it seems likely that the craftsmen worked under the direct patronage of the chiefs themselves. It is primarily a metalworker’s art, found on vessels associated with drinking (jugs, buckets, bowls, cups and tankards); on weapons (swords, daggers, scabbards, helmets and shields) and horse and chariot fittings; and on personal ornaments (tores, bracelets, armlets, brooches etc). Techniques employed include decoration in relief, engraving and inlay (in coral or, later, enamel); two or more techniques are commonly applied on the same article. Although it is most commonly found on metal objects, it appears sometimes in other media, such as pottery and stone sculpture. Stylistically, Celtic art combines elements taken from the classical world (especially plant motifs), from the Scythians to the east (animal motifs) and from the local earlier Hallstatt Iron Age (geometric designs), to produce a strong curvilinear style, non-naturalistic, but incorporating plant and especially animal and human motifs in stylized and sometimes grotesque form. The art developed through several styles on the Continent (Early, Waldalgesheim, Plastic and Sword styles) but came to an end with the Roman occupation. In Britain an insular style developed in the last 100 years before the Claudian invasion, producing, inter alia, a fine series of engraved bronze mirrors and splendid gold, silver and electrum torcs. On the fringes of the Roman world in Britain, Celtic art survived throughout the period of the occupation and the style of the early Christian illuminated manuscripts is still recognizably in the same tradition (see Book of Kells, Lindisfarne).
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983