A. Molinart – Book of Kells

Andreas Molnar

Art 85


What makes a work, a  design or art?   Does it, makes people  react in a certain way  or does  or does  it function for  a purpose without  causing emotional reaction  . This  debate has gone on  for centuries. Whether  men  creates  work for  functional purposes  only  or for  self gratification  as well. Two philosopher  question, the ideas of many whether it was for functional reason they creating or   emotional reason to satisfy.

Immanuel Kant  and David Hume  where philosopher s  from the  eighteenth century  that debate reasoning for man to create things.  David Hume  coming from the humanistic and  art back ground  . His view point shows the work of man should just aby other  for emotional of the espunces not person who creates. Hume said “ What exists in the nature of things is the standard of our judgment; what each man feels within himself is the standard of sentiment. Propositions in geometry may be proved, systems in physics may be controverted; but the harmony of verse, the tenderness of passion, the brilliancy of wit, must give immediate pleasure.”  The reason why  Hume  said  work of man should evoke  and emotional  resounds  so the creator could be judged by others.  Immanuel  Kant  different from David Hume point. Kant goes more of the function analytical  sides and purpose creating work . Kant  said the object  as disnge purpose that  buty  has no equivalent to function.. Not only the  . What significant about The Book Kells  , the present itself as a an design  but also has art work that promotes an emotional response . t  art  work shows higher valuable than the  book design, make’s the viewer  look at the images first than what  the  text said in the book. Which makes it  surprising that time.

Through   interpretation  and research, The Book of  Kells   points  out  , that the  design point of view takes the forefront.  It could be perceived  by some people   as an art form after  hundreds of  years . During  its  creation   it   served a  purpose and  had  a specific   functional role .The  definition of  design is to create an object that serves a purpose, a function and use .  It is the opposite from art in that it  does not  evoke an  emotional response . Design   has a   higher valuable  of interpidation  because  not only  it is  an object  of art but it has also multiple  uses  and  function. The Book of Kells  showed  the  reason and history  behind this  hypothesis

The book the  described  the history of Christianly written  by Christian Monks   . The main  theme of the book was  focusing  on the  life  of Jesus  Christ. It was to convince  the people, that He was the son of God. Describing the history and  the miracles that He was performing, through witness of  the time who  saw him. The Book of Kells was written form the  7th  the century  to the  9th century  . It was  handed  around from one monastery   to an other  until  it settled in Kells, Ireland.  .  The clergy in Ireland designed and wrote  the book for  the  reason of  converting  the people to the catholic church.  It  inspired the story of Jesus Christ  for all of  the classes  of society. It also heavily influence the skeptics .

When the Monks  wrote  The Book of  Kells  they crated  illustration  behind each story to so that the illiterate people would understand them . Theses illustration were beautiful works of art but their purpose was much higher. They served an important function to propagate Christianity .The   text  was written in Gallic in order to make it comprehensible   for the literate local population. Both artistic design  of the illustration and of the writing evoked deep emotional responses

One  of the theories is   that the Book of  Kells was  designed  was  not only for spiritual inspiration and evangelization of the population   but also the church to grow politically  and economically. The Catholic Church during that time was the most influential  and growing  religion in all of Europe.   Collecting money or some  form of revenue was important for the clergy to grow .

The book incorporated local  culture  such as local symbols and  images. Similar books written in other  part of European continent also  reflect the incorporation of the local culture .when  these book where written  the functional purposes was much greater  than the artistic endeavor.  Today  we regard theses books with high artistic value  and often  they arouse in us   a heighted emotional response. The  beautiful art works and calligraphy are  unreproducable  even to this day .

Work Sited





One comment

  1. Andreas,

    Some very good points and research however the writing literally the typing makes it very difficult to read.

    Serving a purpose first – design remaining in the mental lexicon and visual residual of the brain and soul makes it art. But it takes time for it to pass.

    Good points, good thought, but you need to proofread and display correctly.


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