MINIATURIST, Irish
(active around 800 on the Island of Iona)

Book of Kells

c. 800
Manuscript (Ms. A. I. 6 [58]), 330 x 241 mm
Trinity College Library, Dublin

The Book of Kells contains the four gospels in a Latin translation. There are 340 folios (678 pages) in colour decorated with miniatures, initials and symbols. It is likely that each gospel was intended to be headed by a page with a full-size miniature of the evangelist symbol, an evangelist portrait and a decorative rendering of the initial of the first word of the text.

The decoration of the manuscript is so rich that important passages in many parts of the Gospels are marked with full-page ornament. Folio 29r contains the incipit to the Gospel of Matthew.