Book of Kells

Definition

The Book of Kells (c. 800) is an illuminated manuscript of the four gospels of the Christian New Testament, currently housed at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. The work is the most famous of the medieval illuminated manuscripts for the intricacy, detail, and majesty of the illustrations. It is thought the book was created as a showpiece for the altar, not for daily use, because more attention was obviously given to the artwork than the text.

More about: Book of Kells

Timeline

  • c. 800
    The Book of Kells is made, most likely at Iona, Scotland and finished at Kells, Ireland.
  • 806
    Viking raid on Iona, Scotland; Book of Kells moved to abbey of Kells, Ireland.
  • c. 1007
    The Book of Kells stolen from the abbey at Kells and damaged.
  • c. 1649 - c. 1653
    Oliver Cromwell invades Ireland; Book of Kells moved from Kells to Dublin for safety when Cromwell stations troops in Kells.
  • 1661
    Bishop Henry Jones donates The Book of Kells to Trinity College, Dublin.
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