Early Irish Sculpture and the Art of the High Crosses

Roger Stalley

Publicaton Date
May 2020
Standard Number
Yale University Press
248 pages, 270 x 216mm
196 colour + b/w illus.

This landmark study of Irish high crosses focuses on the carvings of an unnamed artist, the 'Muiredach Master,' whose monuments – completed in the early years of the tenth century – deserve a place alongside the Book of Kells as great works of their time. Drawing on a wealth of recent research, Roger Stalley describes in vivid detail how the crosses were made, where they were carved and how they were lifted into place. His lively prose situates the works in their context, identifying patrons and exploring their motives, as well as venturing to understand what the crosses may have meant to those who gazed at them a millennium ago. In doing so, Stalley rejects preconceived notions about the imagery of the crosses, including the extent to which they were inspired by images from abroad.

About the author

  • Head and shoulders portrait of Roger Stalley

    Fellow Emeritus of Trinity College Dublin