Drafting the Pages

We started off with an ambitious goal: 8 pages to show a variety of images, carpet pages and text within the Book of Durrow. This was edited down to four to fit the time line. After drafting the pages last night, this has turned into three. Our underestimation of the work involved in a singer page was vast. The idea that we could recreate one of the complex carpet page in a day was delusional. The project goes on.

There was talk of making our manuscript half the size of the original. This will not be possible as the lines are so fine and detailed within the images that the ink would not have room to separate and likely smudge. Hopefully, we can avoid these flaws with full size images, though it will be a challenge. Even drafting the images on a smaller sized sheet of paper was a challenge compared to using a full sheet. While these drafts were not to scale, they did give some idea of the space needed to recreate these images.

Much like the artists of the Book of Durrow, a compass and ruler will be used to draft the images. There are also simple mathematical equations outlined in the article ‘The Shapes of the Book of Durrow’ for determining the border size and inner panels which will be recorded in the final report. Furthermore, one article entitled ‘The Four Evangelist Symbols Page in the Book of Durrow’ by Martin Werner states that the full-page symbols were influenced by the order of St. Ireneus.

The three pages that will be recreated include:

  • Four Evangelist Symbols 2r (Classic introductory page, with full page cross)
  • Gospel of St. Mark 86 (Example of an illuminated text page)
  • Gospel of Matthew 21v (Full-page symbol and interlace border)

Questions that arose through the process:

  • How many people were involved in the creation the Book of Durrow?
  • How many hours did it take to produce one carpet page?

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