Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Saint John’s Bible Project

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.
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Wikipedia article, link.
Official website, link.
Catholic News Service article, link.
Photo courtesy Victoria and Albert Museum, link.

9 comments:

Andrew Wales said...

I am dumbfounded by the scale of this project! Amazing!

Thanks for sharing.

Frank P. Ordaz said...

Thanks for sharing...I would have loved to have seen a Gurney interpretation of the Ark filled with animals.....

Casey Klahn said...

A fitting and moving millennial project. I posted about it a couple of times.

Now I am wondering if someone will be doing an art review about the illustrations and illuminations? That might require a book after the finish.

dt said...

How many lambs had to perish?

Angela Lo said...

Poor Lambs. Ah well art hardly ever seems to be animal friendly. Afterall furry critters make the best brushes. heh. ^__^;;

but anyways Wow! That looks really cool! I can't wait to see the end product!

Meredith D. said...

I had heard about this project a while back. Our local bookstore has a copy of Psalms, I believe that you can flip through. The images are truly fantastic...I only wish I could see the original!

Андрей said...

I could hardly imagine a Bible edition that would be more controversal to the Bible per se...

Jeremy Elder said...

I saw a couple pages of this that were on display during the dead sea scrolls exhibition at the San Diego Museum of Natural History. It was amazing! The pages I saw were from the Ezekiel "dry bones passage" and were illustrated with an amazing post-apocalyptic image paying tribute to the Holocaust survivors. The thought that went into this was extraordinary. Finally someone is bringing back high quality art back into the church.

krakit said...

Thanks for posting this.
What an amazing project!