The Middle Ages

Although located on the very periphery of the known world during the Middle Ages, Ireland was far from isolated from the rest of Europe . During the sixth to tenth centuries the travels of learned monks, pilgrims and the missionaries across Europe led to an important exchange of cultural ideas. Manuscripts created at monasteries such as Lindisfarne in Northern England and St Gallen in Switzerland demonstrates the influence of contemporary Irish art abroad at this time.

Following the Anglo-Norman invasion the main source of influence in Irish art was from England . However, towards the end of the Middle Ages Ireland’s more extensive trade links with Europe are reflected in the local copying of imported art. For example the painted miniatures of Christ’s Passion found in the sixteenth-century book the Seanchas Búrcach are based on Flemish woodcuts.

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