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The Book of Kells from R.A. Macavoy Essay

Assignment id 1005039
Discipline Arts Entertainment
Assignment type Essay
Words 2759
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The Book of Kells from R.A. Macavoy The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript from the eighth century. It is currently situated at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. The images and icons within this novel of gospels are Christian; nevertheless, the style of the work is pre-Christian in origin. Since the illustrations show both the Irish and Germanic influences, they are known as Hiberno-Saxon artwork. The Book of Kells is called an undying manuscript, since its script is in a style known as "Insular majuscule," a design which was common at the point in Ireland (Meehan 9). The Book of Kells represents a high point in the evolution of Hiberno-Saxon lighting. In the words of this art historian Carl Nordenfalk, the screenplay is a function of "exquisite perfection" (118). This paper will explore the Book of Kells in a bid to analyze its artistic and historic participation. In the first century, the Christian Church began spreading its influence by setting monasteries throughout Europe. The people of Ireland had started converting to Christianity, as early as the fifth century, and by the eighth century, the state had become an integral part of the Church's international monastic system. The monks of this Irish monasteries took religious texts and decorated them, thereby producing what are now known as illuminated manuscripts. The ornamentation of these texts contained large, ornate original letters, interlace patterns, person, animal and religious figures, and assorted symbolic and iconographic themes. There were many Irish illuminated novels of the periodnevertheless, the Book of Kells was the most magnificent of all (Meehan 9-10). The Book of Kells, is a Latin version of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The Book of Kells, was quite large and was typically placed at the altar (NGA 2000). Although the Book of Kells isn't Christian in theme and principle, its illuminated decorations attest a sacred origin. The Irish monks who made the illuminated manuscripts retained local artists to perform the art (Nordenfalk 109). The designs and motifs that the, newly transformed, artists used were similar to those used by conventional metalworkers and goldsmiths of the time. Therefore, a number of the layouts of Christian manuscripts have a likeness to the embellishments found on helmets, shields and other early pagan artifac...

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