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The Book of Kells : An Illustrated Introduction to the Manuscript in Trinity College Dublin - Bernard Meehan

The Book of Kells

An Illustrated Introduction to the Manuscript in Trinity College Dublin

Paperback Published: 17th February 1995
ISBN: 9780500277904
Number Of Pages: 96

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The Book of Kells is the most spectacular of a group of manuscripts created in Ireland and northern Britain between the seventh and tenth centuries, a period when Irish monasticism was in the vanguard of Christian culture. Its earliest history remains controversial but it was in the keeping of the monastery of Kells, Co. Meath, for most of the Middle Ages - hence its name - and has been in the library of Trinity College Dublin, since the mid-seventeenth century. It is a masterpiece of medieval art - a brilliantly decorated copy of the four Gospels with full-page illustrations of Christ, the Virgin and Child and the Evangelists, and a wealth of smaller decorative painting that does not always relate to the sacred text. The strange imagination displayed in the pages, the impeccable technique and the very fine state of its preservation make it an object of endless fascination.
This edition includes the most important of the fully decorated pages plus a series of enlargements showing the almost unbelievable minuteness of the detail - spiral and interlace patterns, human and animal ornament - a combination of high seriousness and humor. Accompanying the illustrations is a new, up-to-date text by Bernard Meehan, the current Keeper of Manuscripts at Trinity College Dublin. It provides a scholarly analysis of these exuberant inventions, the artists, the text and the writing, and a full account of the historical background to the miraculous world of the Book of Kells.

The Book and its backgroundp. 9
Decorative influences and parallelsp. 17
The scheme of decorationp. 22
The purpose of the decorationp. 29
Decorative themes: the book and the crossp. 30
Angelsp. 34
The evangelists and their symbolsp. 36
Eucharistic symbolismp. 44
Christ and his symbols: fish, snake and lionp. 50
The peacock and the dovep. 57
Illustrative features in the minor decorationp. 66
Human figures and activitiesp. 68
Minor animal decorationp. 74
Scribes and artistsp. 78
How long did it take to produce?p. 85
Vellump. 85
Writing materials and pigmentsp. 86
Conclusion: 'The secrets of the artistry'p. 89
Appendix I: Historical Backgroundp. 90
Appendix II: Losses, additions and Marginallap. 92
Notesp. 93
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780500277904
ISBN-10: 0500277907
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 96
Published: 17th February 1995
Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.7 x 18.9  x 1.1
Weight (kg): 0.38
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: New edition