The art of the Middle Ages can be categorized according to its distinctive stylistic traits. Anglo-Irish art, which flourished from the 7th to the 9th century in monasteries in various parts of the British Isles, was largely an art of intricate calligraphic designs. Highly decorative illuminated manuscripts were produced which display flat, elaborate linear patterns combining Celtic and Germanic elements.
In the Romanesque period, during the 11th and 12th centuries, no single style appeared in the manuscripts of northern Europe; some illuminations were of classical inspiration, while others show a new, highly charged, energetic drawing style.
In the Gothic period that followed, from the later part of the 12th century to the beginning of the Italian Renaissance, a larger repertoire of media was introduced, and painting ceased to be entirely the product of the monasteries.