The Viking styles of carving actually predate what is commonly thought of as the Viking Age in history (795-1100 AD). There are six recognized Viking styles of design starting with the Oseberg Style and ending with the Urnes Styles. Many people believe that the Vikings borrowed their styles from the Celts of Ireland. This is not correct. The styles are very similar in some regards. However, both the Celts and Vikings had distinctive and separate styles that did borrow heavily from each other as their cultures intermingled because of trade and conquest. I like all the Viking styles but, I find the earlier styles particularly appealing because of its primitiveness.
The Norwegian Acanthus Style of carving has its roots in the Baroque and Rococo styles of mainland Europe. In the Early 1700?s these styles came to Norway through the Christian church and were carved in stone on church buildings. The style changed and over time became a popular form to carve in wood. Within a few decades Norway had achieved its own distinct style of woodcarving as a variation of the mainland European styles. As a country that has a long history of woodworking, Norwegians took to this new form of art in an enthusiastic way. Anything that could be carved was carved, including daily utensils, beds, furniture, insides and outsides of buildings, and personal items. Throughout the world this new style became known as the Norwegian Style of Acanthus woodcarving. In the mid 1800?s this woodcarving style was modified into a painting form that now is known as Rosemaling.