There is so much to learn about Celtic art—it is truly unique. Dover carries a large selection of books to help with the process, including several books with CD-ROM. Much of it is religious in nature, and like the Irish and Scottish peoples, who often combine religious themes with myth or folk lore, there is a mix of the sacred and secular. (Sts. Mark, Luke, and John were usually portrayed as beasts.)
This particular collection includes illustrations of the gospels from various sources, along with typical Celtic knots, embellished initials and beasts. While most of the works are religious in nature, there are a few completely secular, such as the signs of the zodiac. The artwork ranges from complete pictures on a whole page to tiny images and motifs.
Here are some examples to give you an idea of wha's in this collection. As always, you may mouse-over any image to find its number on the CD-ROM and page number in the book.
St. Matthew (sixth or ninth century) from the Golden Gospels at Stockholm
Initial (seventh century)
Ornamental Page (seventh century) from the Gospels of Durrow, Trinity College, Dublin (typical Celtic knotwork)
The Symbols of the Four Evangelists (seventh century) from the Book of Kells, Trinity College, Dublin
Header from the Book of Kells
Initial letter, commencement of the Psalter (end of tenth century) from the Harleian Psalter, British Museum
Beginning of the Gospel of Saint Matthew (eighth century) from the Gospels of St, Petersburg
St. Michael and the Dragon (end of tenth century)
Sol from the MS of Aratus (about A.D.975) from the Cottonian MS, B., British Museum
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