• Professor Nancy Edwards – Early Medieval Sculpture in Wales: Art and Influence
  • May 20th at 2pm
  • In person at the Glynn Vivian Gallery
The Friends are delighted to invite you to our upcoming talk at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery on Saturday the 20th of May, at 2pm, with Professor Nancy Edwards – Early Medieval Sculpture in Wales: Art and Influence.

The sculpture of Wales in the period c. AD400–1050 includes early inscribed memorial stones, cross-carved stones, most of which also marked burials, and more ambitious freestanding crosses and cross-slabs that date to the latter part of the period. Iconography on crosses and cross-slabs is comparatively rare but includes both the Crucifixion and secular hunting scenes that would have appealed to the patrons that commissioned them. Abstract patterns, mainly interlace and frets, are more common and we also see the influence of Viking Age art. Subsequently, despite the destruction following the Reformation, many early medieval carved stones remained powerful monuments in the landscape, providing artistic inspiration for artists from the later eighteenth century onwards, including Richard Wilson and J. M. W, Turner. We also see their influence in Celtic revival sculpture of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Indeed, they have continued to inspire Welsh artists, such as Mary Lloyd Jones, up to the present day.

Nancy Edwards is Professor Emerita in Medieval Archaeology at Bangor University and Chair of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and the Learned Society of Wales. Her book on Life in Early Medieval Wales will be published by Oxford University Press in summer 2023.

(Photograph is of the Viking Age cross known as Maen Achwyfan from near Whitford, Flintshire).