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The Book of Kells Creative Competition

We would like to encourage any aspiring artists and writers to enter the annual Book of Kells Creative Competition, especially since many of you have contributed to the Padlet earlier …

James Joyce and the Book of Kells

The most celebrated writer to have derived inspiration from the Book of Kells is James Joyce. Joyce owned a copy of Edward Sullivan’s 1914 text on the manuscript which contained …

The Book of Kells in literature

The text of the Book of Kells is a copy of the four gospels in Latin, so not an ‘original’ work of literature. However, the almost magical quality of the …

Mags Harnett – Scribe2Scribe

Another example of using the Book in modern times can be seen in Dublin-based artist Mags Harnett’s work. In the past, the motivation of artists copying the artwork of the …

A shrine of ‘Celtic’ art

Hidden away off a residential street in the Dublin suburb of Dún Laoghaire is a masterpiece of painted decoration inspired by the Book of Kells. Fig 1. The high altar …

The Book of Kells as Irish icon

As we have seen, throughout the nineteenth century, the numbers of visitors coming to see the Book of Kells were relatively modest, and publications of its artwork relatively few. So …

The Book of Kells in popular culture

For almost two hundred years now, the Book of Kells, ‘the most Irish thing we have’, has provided inspiration to all manner of artists. The transformation of the Book of …

Reproducing the Book of Kells

The richness of the Book of Kells’ decoration remained relatively unknown until the early decades of the nineteenth century. Reproducing the intricate detail of the artwork posed a considerable challenge, …

Exhibiting the Book of Kells

We look at the privilege of curating the Book of Kells. Looking after a manuscript of this age and fragility presents its own challenges, particularly in relation to the conditions …

The Book of Kells at Trinity

Following almost twelve years of warfare, by the early 1650s, the church at Kells, where the manuscript had been preserved for centuries, lay in ruin. The manuscript was removed from …

Changing meanings

This week we will be looking at the more recent history of the Book of Kells. For much of its early life in Trinity College the Book of Kells was …

Thanks and Goodbye

Thank you for taking part in the Book of Kells course. If the course has inspired you to want to visit the manuscript, more details about the exhibition can be …

Virgin and Child

There is only one depiction of a woman in the entire Book of Kells. This is found on folio 7v and is the earliest known, or surviving, image of the …

The Arrest of Jesus Christ

Located among the pages of the Gospel of Matthew, the full page illustration on fol. 114r has traditionally been interpreted as an image of the arrest of Jesus Christ in …

The Temptation of Christ

According to three of the gospels, after Jesus had been baptised he went into the desert to fast for forty days and forty nights. During this time, Satan appeared to …