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Images from the Book of Kells

Stunning Illuminations from the Fabulous 8th-Century Book of Gospels


The Book of Kells is a splendid example of medieval manuscript art. Of its 680 surviving pages, only two have no decoration at all. Although most pages have merely a decorated initial or two, there are also many "carpet" pages, portrait pages, and heavily-decorated chapter introductions that have little more than a line or two of text. Most of it is in astonishingly good condition, considering its age and history.

Here are some highlights from the Book of Kells. All images are in the public domain and are free for your use. For more information about the Book of Kells, be sure to visit this introduction by your Guide. And if you think these images are just amazing, don't forget to check out the Book of Kells on CD ROM.

Images 1-9 of 9
Directory to passages in multiple GospelsCanon TableGolden Portrait of JesusChrist EnthronedA close-up of the book's fine detailDecorated InitialFirst page of the Gospel of MatthewIncipit to the Gospel of Matthew
Glowing Golden Depiction of the EvangelistPortrait of JohnEarliest depiction of Mary and JesusMadonna and ChildSymbols for Matthew, Mark, Luke and JohnFour Evangelist SymbolsThe First Page to the Gospel of MarkIncipit to Mark
Richly-Textured Representation of the EvangelistPortrait of Matthew
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