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Title: Frontispiece - the temple as represented in the Book of Kells

Title of artwork:
Frontispiece - the temple as represented in the Book of Kells
Paper (fiber material), Ink
Wood engraving
Stokes, Margaret
Title of Publication:
Early Christian architecture in Ireland
George Bell and Son
Publication place:
Publication date:
Curator Comment:
Margaret Stokes’ Early Christian architecture in Ireland, (1878) contributed significantly to Irish visual cultural studies in 19th-century Ireland. Richly illustrated with engraved topographical views, ancient archaeological sites and details of architectural construction and decoration, the volume was a reflection of a burgeoning Irish cultural awareness which demanded informed, accessible textual and illustrated sources.
Note on artwork:
The frontispiece for Stokes’ 'Early Christian architecture in Ireland', (1878) is illustrated with a detail taken from one of the few narrative illustrations found the early Christian Insular manuscript the Book of Kells. The subject of the original page is that of the 'Temptation of Christ' (folio 202v). The temple, believed to be modelled on examples of early Irish wooden churches, is lavishly decorated. While the Book of Kells page is presented in glorious colour, the engraver here compensates by emphasising the linear qualities of the design, and introducing subtle grayscale / tonal differences throughout.

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