Saint Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions, Russia
The original Celtic art developed in parallel with Ancient Greek and Roman art. The Celtic coins represent a special sphere of the Celtic applied arts, especially the art of toreutics. But among the studies of Celtic art, the coin images are underrepresented. This area deserves special attention from the standpoint of art history.
This research is dedicated to the Celtic coin images from the 4th to the 1st century BC and their connections with the other works of Celtic art. During the investigation the author used complex method of the modern art studies.
At first Celtic coins were struck in imitation of the Greek and Roman prototypes. But later Celtic craftsmen transformed the original image and showed their artistic individuality. Comparative analysis of the coin images and the works of applied arts shows that we can find the main features of the Plastic Style, which had developed in the Celtic art in the 3rd century BC, on the coin images, such as the schematization of the images, its decor, ornament, relief and filling up the whole space of the item with the help of S-shaped curves, spirals, triple spirals called triskele, lyres etc. Sometimes these elements form not easily visible ornamental images of human or animal heads. Despite their apparent fragmentation, they create a united artistic field.
In spite of the evident connections between the Celtic coin images, the works of high artistic quality, and the Celtic art of toreutics, Celtic coinage stands out as an independent form of Celtic art because of its particular qualities related to the small round shape of the coin, iconography and stylistics of the images and certainly its symbolic meaning.