Early Christian Symbolism in Great Britain and Ireland before the Thirteenth Century
Publication Date 28 Jul 2016
OverviewThe civil engineer and archaeologist John Romilly Allen (1847-1907) delivered the Rhind lectures of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 1885, and published them in book form in 1887. The art of pre-Norman Britain and Ireland had long been a subject of fascination for him, and in this highly illustrated book he considers the wider European context of British art, and the chronology of Christianity from the Romano-British period onwards. There is a particular focus on the Celtic crosses of Ireland, and the meaning of the sculpture on their faces, shafts and bases. Allen continues his analysis of Norman architecture up to the end of the twelfth century. The final chapter considers the symbolism of medieval bestiaries, and Allen ends with a plea for the establishment of a museum of Christian archaeology to bring together in one place all the different manifestations of British Christian art.