The Lindisfarne Gospels is one of the world's greatest works of art in book form, and this new book describes the history and production of this breathtaking artwork, as well as introducing new findings. The Lindisfarne Gospels is thought to have been made around 715-20 at the island monastery of Lindisfarne (Holy Island) and its maker was one of the greatest artists of the Anglo-Saxon and Celtic worlds.
Painted Labyrinth: The world of the Lindisfarne Gospels discusses:
- The world and faith around 700 AD
- Britain and Ireland in the 7th and 8th centuries
- When, where and how was the Lindisfarne Gospels produced?
- The text, script and calligraphy of the Lindisfarne Gospels
- The evangelist portraits
- The art of the Lindisfarne Gospels
- Procedures for making a medieval manuscript
- What did the Lindisfarne Gospels mean to its makers and to society?
Introduction to the book
The Lindisfarne Gospels form one of the world's great books - a breathtaking artwork and symbol of faith that represents the attempt of a gifted individual to express a whole society's identity and belief, with an energy and passion that still inspire.
The book is thought to have been made around 715-20 in the island monastery of Lindisfarne (Holy Island), in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria in north eastern England, during one of the world's influential periods of transition - from Graeco-Roman Antiquity to the Middle Ages. It reflects Lindisfarne's formative influences:
During the early 8th century, Britain was home to a diverse, multi-cultural community and was establishing a distinctive identity upon the international stage. Out of this meeting of cultures emerged a vigorous new form of learning, literature and art known as 'Insular' ('of the islands' of Britain and Ireland). The Lindisfarne Gospels are one of its most beautiful creations.
- the Irish monks from St Columba's island monastery of lona in Scotland who founded the monastery at Lindisfarne in 635
- the native British peoples left in the wake of the Roman Empire
- the Germanic warlords and settlers who forged the kingdoms that came to form England
- the legacy of Rome and its Early Christian popes and missionaries
- the exotic, timeless mysticism of Byzantium, northern Africa and the Middle East
Spiritual ideals, political realities and the challenges facing humanity and the environment merge in the Lindisfarne Gospels to form a complex web of words and images - a painted labyrinth of prayer and praise.
Revised edition 2004, Pb, 48pp, Full colour throughout, 20 x 25 cm