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Would There Have Been Gothic Art Without the Vikings? The Contribution of Scandinavian Medieval Art

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Chapter Summary

The author intent is to illuminate how many of the artistic traditions of this region are integral rather than marginal to a comprehensive view of European medieval art history and to demonstrate what can be gained for the broader field by extending the boundaries to incorporate a more inclusive conception of medieval art. He highlights Scandinavian medieval art, considering, first, what is widely known about this art as well as what has not been given wider attention; second, why this art has been marginalized; and, finally, how this peripheral tradition should be viewed in its own right as an agent in the formation of European culture, not merely relegated to a level of indigenous curiosity. The Vikings were decisive for Norman civilization, and, in turn, Norman culture - not least its ship-building techniques - was formative for Gothic art and architecture.

Keywords:European culture; European Medieval Art; Gothic Art; Inclusive Conception; Norman; Scandinavian Medieval Art; Vikings

10.1163/9789004221031_008
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