Monday, September 24, 2012
According to the book Treasures of Early Irish Art (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: 1977):
"A wide range of materials have been used to create a work of perfection. The silver bowl, provided with handles for lifting, is linked by a gilded collar to a conical silver foot, made more stable by a broad horizontal flange … on the chalice, where decoration is used, it is sumptuous. Ultimate LaTene scrolls, plain interlace, plaits and frets abound. The techniques employed are engraving, casting, filigree, cloisonné and enamelling. Below the horizontal band of gold filigree on the bowl the names of the Apostles in shining metal standout in sea of stippling."
Posted by Histor at 7:30 AM
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Posted by Histor at 6:30 AM
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
The gospels other than John are "written for the most part in a rapid cursive script", while John is "by a different scribe, in neat minuscule bookhand". It was signed by its scribe, Dimma MacNathi, at the end of each of the Gospels. Legend says that Dimma wrote the book in forty days and forty nights without rest, food or water and because he did it like this Dimma thought he had done it in one day. Studies however by Dr R.I. Best show that the book was written by many hands. The Book is now housed in the library of Trinity College.
Image: The Eagle symbol of St John the Evangelist from the Book of Dimma folio 104v. (Dublin, Trinity College, MS.A.IV.23)
Posted by Histor at 5:30 AM
Monday, September 3, 2012
The purple dyestuff, however obtained, was produced in very small quantities, so that it was extremely scarce; and the colour was excessively expensive in Ireland as elsewhere: on the Continent in old times it was worth thirty or forty times its weight in gold. Partly for this reason, and partly for its beauty, purple was a favourite with kings and great chiefs, so that writers often designate it a royal or imperial colour.
Image: Book of Kells Folio 32v shows Christ enthroned. Note the purple garment indicating high status.