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Image by Martin Crampin.

Original research in the visual arts

The Celtic Revival


Carving on the Pontypridd water fountain.Within my interest in the theme of medievalism, the study of the manifestation of the Celtic Revival in Wales has remained a key area of interest. The Celtic Revival in Wales, as in other areas of western and northern Britain and Ireland, was an attempt to make connections with both the early medieval past of these regions, but also pre-Christian times, as imagined in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

This is a theme that goes back to my interest in medieval Welsh prose tales and the recovery of these texts in the nineteenth century, and also the art of the Celtic Revival in Wales that I researched and published on the final CD-ROM of the ‘Visual Culture of Wales’ series (2004). Since then I have gathered many further examples of the use of Celtic themes in the visual culture of the Welsh church, and although I did not engage with this particular theme in my recent PhD, choosing instead to focus more on later medieval decorative art, it is an area that I would like to develop again in the future. The manifestation of the Celtic Revival in the visual arts of Wales offers significant differences, and to some extent an alternative to, the medievalism characteristic of other parts of Britain and Ireland.

 

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