The Saint John’s Bible is the first hand-lettered and hand-illuminated bible commissioned since the invention of the printing press five centuries ago.
The Bible is being written with feather quills on lambskin vellum. The final work, dubbed the “Sistine Chapel of Calligraphy” will require 1100 pages of lambskin.
The project has involved the talents of many artists and calligraphers, spearheaded by by Donald Jackson, working with a team of master calligraphers in a scriptorium in Wales. The illuminations range from decorated capitals to full-page botanical drawings, made with hand-ground inks and gold leaf.
Far from being a revival of historical styles, the design of the book reflects a contemporary and eclectic vision. The project was commissioned about ten years ago, but it is not finished yet. As each section is completed, a full-color printed facsimile becomes available for sale. The last installments, expected in 2010, are the Historical Books and Letters and Revelation.
Wikipedia article, link.
Official website, link.
Catholic News Service article, link.
Photo courtesy Victoria and Albert Museum, link.