Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Vikings/Viking Art

 The Ringerike Style (ab. 980-1080 )

The Alstad stone

The vane

The Ringerike style grew naturally out of the Mammen style during the first half of the eleventh century. It came at a time when the stone monuments were spreading, and it is named after the carved slabs of a rich district of Norway north of Oslo, of which the Alstad stone is one. The heavy spirals at the base have their origins in the spiral hips of the Mammen style.

The graduate development of foliate pattern from the Mammen style became the principal feature of Ringerike. However - the great beast of Jelling was far from forgotten, seen in a gilt bronze vane from Søderala in Sweden. This vane once was placed on the prow of an eleventh century Viking ship. A great beast is mounted on the top to keep watch. The curves along the curved edge were for attachment of jangling chains or for streamers to act as wind indicators.

Vanes of this type are seen on a thirteenth century carving from Bergen.   Its subsequent use was as the ornament on a church spire, like two similar vanes from the same period from Norway and Gotland.

Harald's stone in Jelling
Stone at Sct.Pauls in London.


There  are three writhing  animals in the central openwork panel of the vane. They continue the tradition of a combat motif, which was first established in Scandinavia on Harald's stone at Jelling. Some similar ornaments are on a stone monument in Sct. Paul's churchyard in London. The Sct. Paul's stone is one of the finest monuments in the Scandinavian Ringerike style and shows how England under king Cnut was once again introduced to the mainstream of Viking art.

Source: MoesgårdArchaeological Museum, Århus    

Next: the Urness style, ab. 1050-1150.

photo Jelling: gb                                             


Teresa Evangeline said...

Interesting stonework. It reminds me a bit of the Runestone, here in Minnesota, which they believe might have Viking origins.

Thyra said...

Hello Teresa, I think you mean the Kensington runestone, which has been the cause of much discussion.

The runestone in Jelling is considered to be Denmark's birth certificate. It was king Harald Bluetooth who had it sculptored in ab. 960-85. the Jelling-stone has three sculptored sides.
Grethe ´)