The Viking art reveals the sophisticated material culture of the Northerners. Vikings loved elaborate decorations and used them often in their daily lives, including weapons, jewelry, runestones, and ship woodwork. Their favorite designs were abstract and intricate animal designs with multiple interlacing lines. Among the animals depicted in their art are serpents, horses, wolves, birds, and unreal, fantastic creatures. You can find some of our animal-inspired Viking collection here.
Among many others, the Jelling style is probably the most famous Viking art. In terms of style, animals are S-shaped and intertwined, with profiled heads, spiral hips, and pigtails. Occasionally, Borre and Jelling are used on the same object together.
A second visually stunning Viking art style is the Urnes-style architecture dating from the 1050s to the 12th century. Carved wooden panels depict sinuous animals that are interlaced and looped, with long eyes pointing forward. Additionally, snakes and plants are depicted. It sometimes appears that the greyhound-like creature is engaged in a battle with a serpent.
Is Viking art tattoo historically accurate?
The Vikings were known to wear tattoos as a sign of strength, as a sign of respect to the Gods, and as a visual representation of their devotion to family, battle, and their way of life. You will find today many tattoo designs taking a rather free inspiration from the Viking culture and we encourage you to do your own research before committing to a so-called Viking tattoo studio.
Where can I find real Viking art?
At Drakka Viking Shields, we strive to create the most realistic Viking artifacts, in line with our Norse roots and heritage. There are no unique museums dedicated to Viking art in the world but you can find unique artifacts in the museum of Oslo, Stockholm as well as multiple places in Denmark and Iceland.
What are some of the most famous Viking art?
Historians classify Viking art into six unique styles but the Oseberg Style is probably the most traditional and popular one. It is named the burial site discovered at Oseberg, near the city of Tønsberg, Norway in 1904 and is known for its complex and sophisticated animal wood carving.