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The St. Cuthbert Gospel Binding and Insular Design

Robert D. Stevick
Artibus et Historiae
Vol. 8, No. 15 (1987), pp. 9-19
Published by: IRSA s.c.
DOI: 10.2307/1483269
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1483269
Page Count: 11
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The St. Cuthbert Gospel Binding and Insular Design
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Abstract

The late seventh-century Gospel of St. John preserved among the relics of St. Cuthbert retains its original binding, whose decorative designs embody in an exemplary way the principles of composition that informed early Insular art. The designs on the front and back covers are geometrical not only for showing the influence of compass and straight-edge. They are geometrical in conception as well, having proportions among their major dimensions that are all based on the 'two true measures of geometry,' the golden section ratio and the square root of two. This essay analyzes the forms of the designs and provides line-drawings to show how they could have been created. /// Der Originaleinband des mit den Reliquien des Hl. Cuthbert aufbewahrten Johannesevangeliars (7.Jh.), weist mit seinen Verflechtungsornamenten und geometrischen Mustern in beispielhafter Art alle charakteristischen Kompositionsmerkmale der frühen englischen Kunst auf. Für die Kenntnis geometrischer Prinzipien spricht nicht nur das Wesen der sichtlich unter Verwendung von Zirkel und Lineal entstandenen Ornamente, sondern vor allem ihre Anordnung nach den Gesetzen des Goldenen Schnittes und der Quadratwurzel aus zwei. Die vorliegende Arbeit unternimmt eine Analyse der Muster und versucht an Hand von Zeichnungen, ihren Entstehungsprozess zu rekonstruieren.

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