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The Book of Kells: Selected Plates in Full Colour (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) Paperback – 1 Oct 1982

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The Book of Kells Painstakingly reproduced from a rare facsimile edition, this volume contains full-page decorations, portraits, illustrations, plus a sampling of textual leaves with exquisite calligraphy and ornamentation. 32 full-color illustrations. Full description

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
68 of 70 people found the following review helpful
Worth the money but it could have been so much more 1 Jun. 2000
By Mark Josef - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book of color plates seems amazing, and almost is. However, the quality of the plates falls short of the mark. The colors are dull and faded, and the image resolution far lower than it should be. The Chi Rho page, probably the most beautiful page in the Book of Kells, shows almost none of the amazingly minute detail that it should. Other books--like the Thames & Hudson--show far more detail with more vivid colors than this. On the other hand, this book has larger pages than others, which is nice.
32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
transcends time & religion 26 Nov. 1999
By DJ Rix - Published on
Format: Paperback
32 full color plates from one of the world's greatest books. Although it is Christian art, the Kells reflects centuries of preChristian style & mystery in its bestiary of cats & dragons, its peacock feathers, poses & intertwining lines. There is something in this art that transcends time & religion. The price is a bargain.
Bob Rixon
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
art 15 Dec. 2009
By Linda Hooper - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Book of Kells was some what of a disappointment to me. The art work from this ancient book is beautiful,but I was expecting more commentary on the work. It also a very thin soft cover book which will in time be creased and damaged. I wanted more backstory since I tend to be a ancient art buff. But if all you are interested in is the art and only wanted to see the intricate designs its fine.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic large plates of a fascinating book 7 Oct. 2012
By Jane in Milwaukee - Published on
Format: Paperback
There's no whining about what is in and what is not in tis book. It's a larger-sized book which allows you to enjoy the plates better than any other book I know of. Full color plates. I included a couple other Images above in addition to the Look Inside feature. As you can see from the suggested books on the page, my first Image is the cover of this book:
The Book of Kells: An Illustrated Introduction to the Manuscript in Trinity College, Dublin (Second Edition)

Why anyone would complain that this book fails on giving background to the Book of Kells does not apprehend how complicated is the history of the book. For heaven's sake, the original Dover book from 1982 cost $4.25. Copies are offered here for less than that. This book does everything it offers to do: it contains 32 full size color photos of the original. The colors are too muted? Of course they are! It's a thousand years old!

Dover offers several other celtic and Kells books you might like:

Celtic Charted Designs (Dover Embroidery, Needlepoint)
Color Your Own Book of Kells (Dover Art Coloring Book)
Celtic Hand Stroke by Stroke: Irish Half-Uncial from The Book of Kells
Celtic Animals Coloring Book (Dover Coloring Books)
Celtic Art: The Methods of Construction (Dover Art Instruction)
Celtic Design Coloring Book (Dover Design Coloring Books)
Celtic Animals Charted Designs (Dover Embroidery, Needlepoint)
Not the art quality that I expected. 11 Sept. 2014
By C. Dennis Murphy - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Large pages, to be sure, but the colors are dull and the pictures are not as sharp as I expected. Perhaps the actual colors are as aged and dull as they appear in this book. But I've often read of the amazing detail of the drawings in the Book of Kells, and in these pictures the fine details become blurs. Diagrams that were surely made with straight lines (e.g. the columns and frames of different pictures) in the original are bent in this book. I'd hoped to frame some of its pictures and display them in my house, but they don't really look good enough for that.
It's OK if you buy it to avoid postage on another order, which is what I did.
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