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Viking Art on Stamps: (URNES)
August 1999



fig 13

fig 14

Fig 13

Fig 14


The "Great Beast" from the Mammen period and the multiple lines of the Ringerike era are now refined into the more graceful Urnes style. The "Great Beast" is thinned drastically (Fig 13) but the background of whirls, scrolls and hair-thin lines is maintained.

The wood carving (Fig 14) in the twelfth century Urnes stave church has been dated to the tenth century. Thankfully, those twelfth century folks recognized and preserved the art they inherited. The foregoing shows the Viking artists were capable of working in stone, wood and metals, but they also used vegetable materials like thread and cloth. Little of such organic materials survive.

fig 15 The Bayeux Tapestry (Fig 15), shown on British stamps, describes the Norman invasion of England that concludes the Viking period in 1066 at the Battle of Hastings. The profusion of colors shows the artists were capable of using vegetable and mineral dyes to decorate products from the looms.

Fig 15



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