Middle ages wood carving styles

<< Back to styles

The Byzantine Wood Carving Style

This style has emerged and developed in the Roman empire of the East,
lasting almost 1000 years and spreading to Asia, Italy, Russia and the Balkans.

The Byzantine origin name came from Byzantium, the name of the East Roman

This style is characterized by religious scenes and came under the influence
of Egyptian art, Assyrian-Caldeo, but most from the Greek and Roman styles.
This Byzantine style had a great influence on the Romanian carving style.
The type of furniture is massive, heavy and sober, with straight lines and surfaces,
using new items unlike the Greek and Roman styles, such as: semicircle high
springs, short and thick cube-shaped pillars, with rounded edges at the bottom.

Because this style was developed under the influence of Christian religion,
the form and character of the furniture has been generally adapted to this purpose.
The ornamentation of this style was one of the richest, with a pronounced abstract
character and with a propagation on all objects faces and on the entire area, with
very few empty places between them.

The vast majority of the furniture articles were designed for humans to rest, bench
required for official and religious uses. Straight legs with rectangular sections,
heavy and massive, some carved with lion's foot, combined with some Byzantine
designs, and the upper side of the leg having the head and chest of a lion.
Byzantine ornaments was achieved through sculpture, painting and mosaics.

An extremely important feature of decorative sculptures in the Byzantine style,
was the small and uniform relief over the entire surface of the objects.

The Islamic Wood Carving Style

The furniture of this style was characterized by a weaker development of the
constructive point of view, for this style a top concern was for the aspect to be
rich and precious, with a very beautiful and balanced design.The type of furniture
is closely related to the architectural elements used in its construction, such as
springs and columns (pillars), and the design was influenced by the interiors, with
an important development, used also for the furniture, with inlays of copper and

Furniture used for resting are much lower, because they used carpets for sleeping.
The ornamental elements were almost exclusively geometrical, such as geometric
knittings, rosettes, small archways and sometimes the acanth.

The Romanic Wood Carving Style

This style is a mixture of Roman and Byzantine elements with some of folk origin
from regions in which have been developed. Furniture being sober and massive,
rigid and quite heavy, with a few decorative elements, incommode without
balanced proportions, this begin to show an artistic development during the late
time of the style.

The technical woodworking was more as a carpenter. Massive hinges from
wrought iron was used, applied with decorative nails, which is a feature of the
style. Elements of this furniture style were straight and massive, inchoate
finished, the assembly being done by rectangular large picks and gouges,
reinforced with wrought iron, this having also a decorative role. The materials
used for the Romanic style furniture construction was oak, a hard wood and
moisture resistant.

The ornaments of the Romanic furniture was poor at first, when some wood
sculptures and iron designs were the only artistic elements for interior decoration.
Later they were richer, adding: acanthus ornaments with simply made large
knittings, nick points and diamond flowers with 4 or 8 petals, human and
animal figures naive carved.


Carving techniques Different carving techniques can
be applied with different tools.
Techniques of wood carving
explained in depth.

Hand and power tools
Types of tools used for wood
carving. Multi-functional wood
carving tools, hand tools, power
tools and complete carving sets.

Selecting a wood
Every wood type has its own
nature.. and since the wood
is not equally strong in all
directions, the design must be
arranged keeping this in mind.