Barbaric Art Theme

"Barbaric" Art occupied no space in my understanding of art history just as it also occupied no space in my 1008 page Art Through The Ages 1986 textbook. But I felt unsettled as I continued to unearth Cave Art discoveries which increasingly didn't seem to fit my misunderstanding of "barbaric". This was the theme for March's ATC in my Colored Pencil Society of Artists Chapter.

Only after many many searches did I locate information about the Barbaric Migration of diverse groups mostly from northern Europe (north of the Alps) into the Roman Empire, Greece and other points on continental Europe and Middle East.

I found conflicting information about timing of the Barbaric Migration Period. For example my textbook includes this migratory era with the Medieval Period of Europe, but that period actually related to a later Celtic group.

Some descriptions generalized the migrating tribes as plundering savages as were the Huns. However this was not an accurate description of all migratory groups such as the Celts who preferred to peacefully integrate into the Roman Empire. They were willing to defend themselves if needed, but as far as I have read they were not necessarily the aggressors.

Of the groups migrating, the Celts were the most interesting to me because their cultural symbols, dating 3 BCE - 5 ADE remain pervasive in our modern world. Most of the Celts artifacts did not survive, but several of their metal pieces did. Much of their later artwork ended up in early Christian Bibles which were preserved and reproduced for generations. A quick look at surviving Celtic images reveal familiar patterns as well as jewelry pieces and metal embellishments.

Most, if not all, early Celtic artifacts are held in Northern European museums. There are several Celtic history books available in libraries. I suggest you glance throug more than one because, as I said before, there is conflicting information probably due to publication before a new discovery.

I'm off now to create a new Barbaric-themed ATC for the upcoming Colored Pencil Society of Artists meeting. There are so many options to choose from, and such a small surface on which to place them --- with the thicker lead of colored pencils.

In the meantime, here are some online references for your enrichment:

Who Were the Barbarians? - Live Science

https://www.livescience.com › History

...Oiginated in ancient Greece, and it initially merely referred to people who did not speak Greek...

Ancient Celtic Art VS. Medieval Celtic Art
http://www.ancient-celts.com/ancientvsmedievalart6.html


Google Search for prehistoric celtic art

The Economic History of the Western Roman Empire
http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/barbarians.htm
AFO Pinterest 3/14/2018

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