What is The Book of Kells?
The book of Kells is an amazing 9th Century manuscript also sometimes called the Book of Columba. The illustrated Kells book is deeply symbolic to the Celtic people and contains illustrations of the four Gospels and was written in Latin. We have included a selection of images from this historic illuminated manuscript.
The Book of Kells - List of Illustrations
The complete book of Kells is made up from four volumes and 340 folios, the images below are copies of just a selection of the amazing illustrations in this important historical document.
Image I. - A page of the Eusebian Canons.
Image II. - The Virgin and Child.
Image III - Portion of the "Argument" to the Gospel of St. John.
Image IV. The Evangelical Symbols.
Image V - Portrait of St. Matthew.
Image VI - The opening words of St. Matthew's Gospel—"Liber generationis."
Image VII. - Portrait of St. Mark or St. Luke.
Image VIII. - The Eight-circled Cross.
Image IX. - The Monogram page—"Christi auteur generatio."
Image X. - A page of the Text (St. Mark xiii. 17–22).
Image XI. - "Tunc crucifixerant" (St. Matthew xxvii. 38).
ImageXII. - The Evangelical Symbols.
Image XIV. - The opening word of St. Luke's Gospel—"Quoniam."
Image XV. - The Genealogy of Christ (St. Luke iii. 22-26).
Image XVI. - The Genealogy of Christ (St. Luke iii. 22-26).
Image XVII. - The Genealogy of Christ (St. Luke iii. 22-26).
Image XVIII. - Portrait of St. John.
Image XIX. - The opening words of St. John's Gospel—"In principio."
Image XX. - Compound Letters.
Image XXI. - Compound Letters.
Image XXII. - Compound Letters.
Image XVIII. - Compound Letters.
Image XXIV. - Compound Letters.
Example of Celtic Design
The Book of Kells - Facts
The Book of Kells was written by Celtic monks around 800AD
The Chi Roe Monogram is featured throughout the Book of Kells. Chi and Roe are the first two letters of the Greek word for Christ
The Book of Kells was written in Latin by the Monks of St Columba
The Kells illuminated manuscript contains 340 folios and is bound in four volumes but was never completed
The manuscript takes its name from the Abbey of Kells in County Meath, Ireland which was its home for centuries, the book is now stored in Trinity College Library, Dublin
The Book of Kells is also referred to as the Book of Columba
Example of Celtic Design
The Book of Kells - Information
The book of Kells contains figures of humans, animals, mythical beasts as well as Celtic knots and beautiful patterns that are interlaced in vibrant colours. The book is full of Christian symbolism and the themes behind the illustrations depict this.