This Poster-Print celebrates the Book of Kells illuminated manuscript.
Turning Darkess into Light
The Book of Kells is a lavishly decorated Gospel manuscript produced by Irish monks, probably on the Island of Iona, near Scotland, around the year 800. Preceding the Gospels, the book also contains lists of important details within the Gospels and summaries of the narratives. The importance of the book cannot be over emphasised and its beauty is such that it has been compared to ‘the work of angels’. The richly patterned pages, initial letters, often in the shape of animals of contorted human form and interlaced drawings are unique. The purpose of the illuminations has been speculated upon by many over the centuries. Apart from their intrinsic beauty and the joy they convey, it should be remembered that few were literate at the time of the book’s construction and in the words of Pope Gregory the Great, the illustrations contribute to ‘a living reading of the Lord’s story for those who cannot read’.