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Knotwork cross corrected

Object number: ROMGH.1998.28.2

Type: Poster

Material: Ballpoint pen, Paper, Pencil

Width: 50.4cm | Height: 63.3cm

Production date: 1946 - 1968

 Yes you can     No you cannot
Use the same Celtic patterns in your art and craft work Yes
Use this design for commercial purposes without the permission of the Copyright holder No
Commercially reproduce this object without the permission of the Copyright holder No

At first glance this is copied from the portrait page of St John’s Gospel in the Book of Kells. The cross is centre-left in the frame around the evangelist. Looking closely at a photo of folio 291v you will see three different designs within the four crosses on the page. Those top and bottom are the same, with four sets of vertical knots. Those to the left and right have five knot sets, but they flow in different directions across the arms of the cross.

Bain’s drawing is very easy to read. It is this simplicity that helps us to understand why he gives it the title ‘Correct order’. He has corrected the scribe’s original design to make it perfectly symmetrical. But even Bain has made a mistake with the altered knot. He has had to use white correction fluid on it.

See Book of Kells TCD MS58 folio 291v Trinity College Dublin

Author: Alastair Morton

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