ARH Exam 3 - Rachel Waguespack December 7 2009 ARH...

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Rachel Waguespack December 7, 2009 ARH 302/Mulder Exam 3 Slide Comparison: Chi Rho Iota (from the Book of Kells) 8-9 th century Iona, Scotland St. Matthew (from the Codex Colbertinus) 1100 Probably France (Bibliothéque National Paris) These two images represent the inspiring trend of the art of the Books. While they are obviously illuminated manuscripts, their individual features differ greatly. These books changed the artistic standard with the intricacy of their ornamented pages and the attention to minute details. These pages show the integration of text and image in a way unseen before, and through this integration a greater message is conveyed than simply the written word. Firstly, the Chi Rho Iota from the Book of Kells demonstrates some of the more characteristic traits of illuminated manuscripts from the period of the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Book of Durrow. The typically Celtic curving
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lines and asymmetry are present in the main figure, which sets the composition for the page. Symbolism is also very apparent in this work, with the ithcus symbol, cross shapes, Christ’s initials, moths, which are a symbol of rebirth, and the two human faces. There is also a representation of the struggle between good and evil as shown by the cats and mice above the scroll at the bottom of the page. The vibrant red and green give a regal appearance, especially in conjunction with the precious gold tones. St. Matthew from the Codex Colbertinus shares many traits with the Chi Rho Iota, yet is still very different. Because the Codex Colbertinus was manufactured in a different place and time period, the composition is very distinctive as well. Rather than the curved, asymmetrical look, the images on this page are contained in a block form with the text in the lower right corner. The Celtic style of scrolling imagery and miniscule detailing is not present in the St. Matthew page; rather there are more obvious illustrations of St. Matthew, animals, and columns. The same vibrant reds and greens are also used here, as well as the blue pigment considered so precious. Upon first glance, the relationship between these two illuminated
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ARH Exam 3 - Rachel Waguespack December 7 2009 ARH...

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