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Viking Age Art: The Oseberg Style

Archaeology, Art, Longship, Oseberg, Viking -

Viking Age Art: The Oseberg Style

The art of the Viking Age falls into several distinct categories. Each of these gains prominence at different periods, between the years 793AD and 1066AD.

The initial art form is known as the Oseberg style and the name is taken from the royal burial at the Oseberg farm in Vestfold, Norway. This burial contained the remains of a highly decorated Longship along with other richly decorated wooden objects, such as chests and a bed. 

Oseburg Ship Detail

By Karamell - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5

The Oseberg style is characterised by the Gripping Beast motif and this distinguishes the art style from the preceding art styles of the Vendel period of Scandinavia. The Gripping Beast grips the borders around it and other beasts, hence the name. 

By User:Skadinaujo - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5

The Oseberg style is dated with evidence from the Longship with which it is associated to around 834AD, less than fifty years after the start of the Viking Age. 

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