So the mystery extends beyond who wrote the book of love for surely there was deep love and magic in writing and preserving this manuscript for over a thousand years and counting , but where, and when, and why We can place it within a span of about 200 years, roughly 750 to 950 AD, in one of those remote monasteries Iona or Kells the most popular theories where the scriptorium established by St Patrick hid away the civilization that he sought to save But is lost to history than is known or yet discovered.
This illustrated guide is not a scholarly work, but a well illustrated introduction to the manuscript, for sale at the Trinity College museum where a small part of it is displayed In fact, when I was there to visit I was a bit disappointed with the display, which showed only a few pages and not the most lavishly illustrated ones This book is actually a better view of the best parts of the Kells than you can see at the museum.
The book also describes the layout of the manuscript which has changed as the book has moved through its history, locations and bindings , the content basically the four Gospels plus some additional aids like concordance, genealogy of Jesus, and key to parallel passages, and minus some pages that have been lost the last few chapters of John or left incomplete , and the symbolism of the artwork This was interesting to me to read about, and to learn that the purpose or symbolism of some of the artwork is still unknown Surprising that after a millennium of study we still don t know what the artists intended For example, why are the two blonde guys in green tunics pulling each other s beard Who is the bearded soldier with shield and spear, and why does he have a notably erect penis Meehan says very tentatively that maybe it represents procreation and prefigures the crucifixion given its place on a page with the genealogy of Jesus, but that seems a stretch, and we ll likely never know.
The text is very heavily illustrated as it should be, and references to specific pages that are illustrated provide a marginal note to the illustration number There is no index of key words or illustrations, but there is a bibliography and footnotes for those who want to go deeper If you have any interest in the history and mystery of Christianity and it s survival and spread through time and space, both with and without the saving grace of the Irish, you need to seek out these great manuscripts and see for yourself the power of the Word.
This is a wonderful addition to my collection on this book, which has been an obsession for nearly 20 years now It combines just the right amount of information spanning several topics of the book with full color images There are wide margins where notes can be added if desired One of the things I enjoy most about this particular text is that the author refrains from telling his audience which theory about much of anything to believe Many books choose a tale of origin or authorship and present it as fact This author instead chooses to present all of them briefly and give reasons for why each is useful or not useful This is a short book that is perfect for an introduction to the book One Of The Most Remarkable Manuscripts To Survive From The Early Middle Ages InEurope, The Book Of Kells Was Probably Painted Around In A Monastery At Iona InScotland Or Kells In Ireland, Or Perhaps In Both Places Extraordinarily Inventive Andintricate Imagery Accompanies The Texts Of The Four Gospels Full Page Depictions OfEvangelists And Their Symbols, Lavish Honorific Openings To The Gospels, Extraordinaryinitials, And Decoration That Combines Complex Interlace, Animals, And Human FiguresThis Newly Photographed Book Explores The Book Of Kells Through Its Historicalbackground A Display Of The Elements Of The Book At Their Actual Size The Spectacularopenings Of The Texts That Precede The Gospels A Study Of Earlier And Comparablemanuscripts Detailed Examination Of Symbols And Themes, With Special Enlargeddetails A Look At The Scribes And Artists Who Worked On The Manuscript And Aconsideration Of Technical Aspects, Illuminated By Recent Scientific ResearchThe Rich Illustrations Feature Than Fifty Full Size Reproductions Of Completepages Of The Manuscript Plus Enlarged Details That Allow One To Relish The Intricacyof Elements Barely Visible To The Naked Eye Supplementary Images Place Themanuscript In Its Setting And Provide Comparisons For Its Iconography And Style I was enjoying skimming the text of this book and looking at the pictures, until the author, the current Keeper of Manuscripts at Trinity College Dublin, where the book is kept, said that one illustration in particular The arms seem, alternatively, to be in such an attitude as to confirm the necessity of the prohibitions which were enacted in the Irish penitentials against homosexual practices Then I decided to stop skimming, look at the pictures, and give it one star on Goodreads For my future intrigue about this admittedly beautiful manuscript, I will watch The Secret of Kells instead I loved that movie And nobody said anything bad about the gays in that one.
The Book of Kells rightly has a degree of fame as far as Manuscripts go And, the author is obviously extremely knowledgeable about the Book Howeve, together they made a fairly boring and short book.
I would have liked information about the materials and techniques and less about the associations of peacocks and fish with Christ, most of which seemed to my mind to be fairly tenuous Not forgetting the obsession with grapes and chalices or circles and cups as they appeared to me.
Even the pictures chosen were up uninspiring Altogether a pretty disappointing read.
Informative, easy enough to understand the academic language but not a reader friendly experience This book relies heavily on describing specific panels in the Book of Kells but the pictures are not on the pages with their descriptions It was almost impossible to find the images referred to and it was extra confusing that there were images on every page just not the ones illustrating the information I did figure it out and there were some really cool things to learn about the Book of Kells Mostly, this book established that a lot about the creation of the Book of Kells remains a mystery.
The Book of the Krells dating from 800 is a brilliantly decorated manuscript of the four Gospels Awesome to see and experience the history of an early manuscript of the Bible
The artwork is overwhelming but it is important to look closely at the wonderful composition, the brilliant colors, the intricacies and delicacy of the work as if guided by an angel.
An informative read easily done it a day, with plenty of photos of the pages illustrations to accompany the text I would have preferred the full history of the Book of Kells at the very beginning, rather than as appendices, so as to better understand why some of the differences damage appear as they do.