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 picture shows the portrait of St Matthew, preceding his Gospel.