Kells Letter Y (Color)

CatholicSaints

Marysville, United States

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Artist's Description

The Book of Kells sometimes known as the Book of Columba, is an illuminated manuscript Gospel book written in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament together with various prefatory texts and tables.

It was created in a Columban monastery in Ireland or may have had contributions from various Columban institutions from both Britain and Ireland.

It is believed to have been created c. 800.

The text of the Gospels is largely drawn from the Vulgate, although it also includes several passages drawn from the earlier versions of the Bible known as the Vetus Latina.

It is a masterwork of Western calligraphy and represents the pinnacle of Insular illumination. It is also widely regarded as Ireland’s finest national treasure.

The illustrations and ornamentation of the Book of Kells surpass that of other Insular Gospel books in extravagance and complexity.

The decoration combines traditional Christian iconography with the ornate swirling motifs typical of Insular art.

Figures of humans, animals and mythical beasts, together with Celtic knots and interlacing patterns in vibrant colours, enliven the manuscript’s pages.

Many of these minor decorative elements are imbued with Christian symbolism and so further emphasize the themes of the
major illustrations.

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