Viking Art: Six Awesome Viking Ancient Art Styles

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Viking Art: Six Awesome Viking Ancient Art Styles

The Vikings loved to decorate themselves with many subtle designs. Many of their things like weapons, Viking jewelry, runestones, ships, and even their common items were subtly decorated. They loved interlacing lines and animal designs. The animals that they depicted on their art included serpents, wolves, ravens, etc. As time progressed, there were changes in Viking art. But generally, the most famous Viking art rest within these six ancient patterns:


The common words we hear about Oseberg might be the Oseberg ship. This Oseberg ship well preserved a pair of the female skeleton with valuables. The Oseberg Viking style owes its name to the Oseberg Ship. The style was used around the 9th century. The motif of the Oseberg style was known as the gripping beast. The highlight of this Viking art is the paws of the beasts that grip the borders around it.

Image of Viking oseberg ship head

Oseberg Ship Head 

The head of the Oseberg ship presents a snarling beast with interlacing lines and animal patterns just as they were gripping. 


Another Viking famous style was the Borre style. The Borre Viking style was named after a ship burial in Borre, Norway. This Borre Viking overlaps the Oseberg and the Jelling style (discuss later). The gripping beats are still there but the sinuous creature turns into a triangle face with the cat-like face. The eyes were round and ears were protruding. Borre reached its highest point around the end of 9th century and the middle of the 10th century. 

Image of Borre Viking pattern

Viking Borre Pattern


The Jelling Viking style appeared around the start of 10 century and last for the next 3/4 century. The design of the animal in Jelling style was the S shape and intertwined with heads, hips, and tails. Borre and Jelling styles overlap and sometimes both were used in the same place.

Image of Viking art Viking pattern


In the Viking art style, Mammen emerged from the Jelling style and gained much popularity around the late 10th century. The design of the Mammen Viking style evoked more controversies than others. For example, people one didn't know what was the Viking symbol and what was not. Design of Mammen was believed to be a bird or serpent-like Jormungand or the Yggdrasil Tree of Life. The Mammen patterns also become the most favorite pattern and also become a favorite Viking pattern for axe. The Mammen axe was often viewed as the symbol of nobility for Viking Jewelry Design. (See more: Mammen Axe Viking Jewelry)

Viking mammen axe

Viking Mammen axe was the symbol of nobility and honor


The Ringerike was among the top 10 Viking ancient art. Approximately around 10 century, the Viking created this lion-shape beast. This Ringerike style was basically designed on the Ringerike. The outlines of Ringerike were curvy outlines. 


Urnes laid its foundation within the former Viking art. It somehow resembled the design of other Viking art designs. The reputation of Urnes lasted for almost 2 centuries. This Urnes style got its name from remarkable doors of a stave church in Urnes, Norway. This style depicts interlacing beasts with loops. Eyes of the beasts pointed in the upward directions. 

Image of Viking pattern Viking art Viking Urnes

Viking Urnes Pattern

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