LIFE AS MYTH

Index

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JOURNAL

Index

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JOURNAL 2010

2010

A vision quest

Finding a guiding light

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SUMMER 2010

Showing the way

Index 2010

St. Luke

The guild of St. Luke

She who shows the way

Kells virgin

The Black Madonna of Częstochowa

Madonna of mercy

Madonna of childbirth

Madonna of rebirth

Finding a guiding light

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LIFEWORKS

About

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ARCHIVES

Index

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SUMMER 2010
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THE BOOK OF KELLS

kells

Virgin and child. The Book of Kells. Trinity College, Dublin. ca. 800 AD. This illustration is the oldest extant depiction of the Virgin Mary in a Western manuscript.

The Book of Kells, also known as The Book of Columba, is an illuminated manuscript containing the Four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) in Latin. It is a masterwork of Western calligraphy and insular illustration. Insular art (insula/island) refers to both script and illustration and was a style unique to Britain and Ireland, originating out of Irish monasticism.

The famous manuscript derives its name from the Abbey of Kells. First founded by St. Columba in 554 AD, the abbey became a refuge for monks fleeing the Viking raids of Iona. It is possible that the monks began the transcription of the Book of Kells in Iona and completed it at the Abbey of Kells several generations later. Viking raids continued at the Abbey of Kells and in 1006 the Book of Kells was stolen. Two months later the abbey recovered the manuscript, now missing its front and back covers and the beginning and ending illustrations.

Since 1953 The Book of Kells has been bound in four volumes. It is on permanent display at the Trinity College Library of Dublin and considered Ireland's finest national treasure.

 

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