The Book of Durrow

Author(s): Rachel Moss


The Book of Durrow is among the earliest-surviving decorated manuscripts in northwestern Europe. A masterpiece of Celtic art, it is believed to be the oldest fully decorated Insular Gospel that survives, pre-dating the Book of Kells by more than a century. Created in a monastery associated with the Irish saint Colum Cille (St Columba), its text and artwork reflect the formative years of a distinctive 'golden age' of artistic production in Ireland and Britain. This richly decorated introductory guide explores the manuscript's distinctive artwork, providing a fascinating view of the eclectic sources drawn upon by the scribe/illuminator to adorn this sacred text. An introduction to the art and text of the manuscript is accompanied by an examination of some of the practical challenges that faced its maker, such as working on and binding with vellum, and early inks and pigments. Issues around the provenance of the manuscript are explored, as is the extraordinary story of its preservation in the Irish monastery at Durrow, and what its pages reveal about its changing status, first as sacred text then as relic, over a lifetime of almost 1300 years.


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Product Information

General Fields

  • : 9780500294604
  • : Thames & Hudson Australia Pty, Limited
  • : Thames and Hudson (Australia) Pty Ltd
  • : October 2018
  • : ---length:- '24.8'width:- '19'units:- Centimeters
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Rachel Moss
  • : Paperback
  • : 745.67094186
  • : 96