- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted January 22, 2009
Scribe to the Crown Office of British royalty, Jackson has undertaken a long-term project of illuminating and transcribing the Saint John's Bible held at the Benedictine Saint John's Abbey in Minnesota as medieval monastics illuminated Bibles centuries ago. The monks of the Abbey wanted a project that would bespeak their own regimen focusing in scripture, books, and religious art while at the same time be contemporary, interreligious, multicultural, and prophetic. This Wisdom Books counting Job, Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, Wisdom of Solomon, and Sirach is part of this singular project of 1,150 pages over seven volumes. The other volumes are Pantateuch, Historical Books, Psalms, Prophets, Gospels and Acts, and Letters and Revelation. Besides being large in size, Jackson's volumes stay true to the making of the original illuminated manuscripts in both materials used and craftsmanship. Natural materials such as egg shells and calf skins were used for hand-ground inks. The manuscripts were entirely handmade by teams of craftspersons with various skills such as calligraphy, making parchment, and binding pages. This Wisdom Books goes so far in imitating medieval manuscripts as to also have some illustrations of small animals in the margins in this case, a butterfly and bumblebee. One of the common examples of this touch in medieval manuscripts is an illustration of a cat imagined to be whimsically put in by a monk in a moment of boredom with his task. Collaborators on this work include artists, designers, and specialists in Hebrew and Greek script (all listed on the copyright page). Despite its inspiration in the medieval manuscripts which are treasures of Western civilization and reference to them as artistic models, the Wisdom Books is modern to be sure. The style of the illustrations manifests this, as does the script and footnote-like entries on many pages. And of course, this and other Saint John's Bible volumes have been multiplied beyond their original hand-crafted copy by modern-day publishing production technology. In the volume, the original hand-drawn script, whatever size it was, is about twelve point type, much smaller than the size in medieval texts. The script displays the constrained ornate touches of medieval script, though it has the polish of many computer-generated scripts for easy legibility and comprehension. The smaller size of the script means much more text per page than in a medieval manuscript even with the folio-size pages. The illustrations--i. e., the illuminations--too manifest modern influences most notably influences of collage, expressionism, and graphics. A couple are almost psychedelic in meaning to portray the dazzle and glory of spirituality. A couple have perspective missing from medieval illustrations (perspective having come into art not until about the time of the Renaissance). The planned volume on the making of the Bible will give more background on the making of the text and artistic choices and intentions of the art work.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.