This story of an artist monk living in Northumbria in the early eighth century is a valued testament to the tenacity of Christian belief during one of the most unsettled periods of British history. Medieval manuscripts were usually produced by a team of scribes and illustrators. However, the entire Lindisfarne Gospels is due to the labor of one man. That holy man and artist was a monk named Eadfrith, Bishop of Lindisfarne between 698 and 721. His unparalleled skill is evident in the opening pages of each gospel. Eadfrith used an extraordinarily wide array of colors, using animal, vegetable and mineral pigments. It was an enormous act of faith. This particular “carpet page” of the celtic cross demonstrates his artistic genius. Carpet pages are characteristic of Insular illuminated manuscripts. They are pages of mainly geometrical adornment, which may include replicated animal forms such as dogs, serpents, and other creatures, and are typically placed at the beginning of each of the four Gospels in Gospel Books. The designation "carpet page" is used to describe those pages in illuminated manuscripts that contain little or no text and which are filled completely with ornate motifs. Carpet pages are wholly devoted to ornamentation with brilliant colors, active lines, and complex patterns of interlace. They are typically symmetrical from one or all angles. This reproduction of a page from the “Lindisfarne Gospels” illuminated manuscript is printed by a professional photographer onto transparent museum-quality cotton/satin cloth with archival pigments. The printed cloth is then hand-sewn with reeds to hold the cloth at the top and bottom. Because the reeds are hand-cut, sizes will vary slightly. Makes a wondeful gift for those who appreciated the artistic treasures of the ancient Christian faith.
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