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Title: The iconography of the chase and the equestrian motifs of eighth to tenth century Pictish and Irish sculpture with reference to early medieval Celtic literature
Author: Carrington, Ann
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1995
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This thesis considers the chase and the equestrian motifs on Early Medieval Pictish and Irish sculpture which have not generally been studied on their own. These motifs deserve the concentration of study in their own rights. We endeavour to bring out, more clearly than hitherto, the history, iconography and ramifications of the chase and the equestrian motifs. In order to do so, the role of these motifs in Celtic literary tradition will be considered thereby heightening our understanding of the literary significance of these images within an Early Medieval Celtic context. Moreover, such art historical criticism as exists tends to categorize the chase and equestrian figures as simply secular (ie. non-Christian) in nature. It is argued that these motifs cannot be so simply described. Part of our purpose will be to show that the chase and equestrian motifs can meaningfully be regarded as simultaneously Christian and secular, literal and symbolic, local and universal in their statements. Their iconographies are multi-layered and complex, distinguished by an ambivalent interplay of sacred and secular symbolism at once thematically complementary and multivalent in meaning. Further, it is argued that the visual and literary evidence are mutually illuminating. It is not argued that this is always and necessarily the case, although we believe it usually to be so. We will consider how this is true in the context of the Irish crosses and Pictish cross-slabs which depict both hunting and riding vignettes. Of course, we shall attempt to demonstrate how and why the mutual artistic-literary illumination works.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available