Medieval Europe + Byzantium

Early medieval art

Christianity flourished in the early middle ages and this shift dramatically affected the art that was created across Europe.

c. 500 - 800 C.E.

videos + essays

We're adding new content all the time!

Sutton Hoo Ship Burial
Sutton Hoo Ship Burial

Excavated in 1939, this 7th-century grave once held a hoard of metalwork, all buried within a 27-meter long ship!

The Sutton Hoo purse lid
The Sutton Hoo purse lid

Rendered in gold and garnet, the enigmatic animals on this purse lid stand out above white bone.

The Sutton Hoo helmet
The Sutton Hoo helmet

Restored, dismantled, and restored again, this helmet was a pile of rusted iron and tinned bronze when first discovered.

Brooch from Chessell Down
Brooch from Chessell Down

Masks and scrolls adorn the square head of this silver-gilt brooch. Extravagant but functional, it fastened clothes.

Decoding Anglo-Saxon art
Decoding Anglo-Saxon art

Stylistic analysis of these brooches and buckles might seem straightforward, but their designs riddle even experts.

Anglo-Saxon England
Anglo-Saxon England

After crossing the Channel and invading Britain, the Anglo-Saxons ruled for 500 years. Rings offer clues to their society.

Sutton Hoo Ship Burial (video)
Sutton Hoo Ship Burial (video)

Shoulder clasps, a belt buckle, and a purse lid—these artifacts suggest the splendor of an Anglo-Saxon king.

The Lindisfarne Gospels
The Lindisfarne Gospels

The “cross-carpet” pages of this early 8th-century manuscript weave together birds, knots, spirals—and the Cross.

Fibulae
Fibulae

These ornate brooches were trendy accessories in the 5th and 6th centuries. Pin, body, and catch form a “crossbow.”

Selected Contributors | Early medieval art