Sunday, January 31, 2016

The St. John's Bible-The Psalms Frontispiece

Psalms Frontispiece, 2004
Psalm 1:1-6
Donald Jackson
 Vellum, with ink, paint and gold

"Only in the Psalms do all the illuminations 
consist of abstract, non-objective designs.
 In the bible, the whole book of Psalms, 
is divided into five books, and this frontispiece
 visually reflects that structure.
 The five books are represented by five overlapping 
book-shaped panels, each a different combination
 of the same colors. 
A gold roman numeral identifies each panel. 
These panels appear at the beginning
of each book in a progressive accumulate 
corresponding to the numbers of the books.

Superimposed on this image are digital 
voice prints (electronic images of sound) 
of sung chants, hinting at the way we "see" psalms
 if they are sung or read poetically. 
The voice prints come from recordings of the monks
 at St. John's Abbey singing Gregorian chant, 
as well as other musical offerings. 
The voice prints of the Saint John's monks
 appear on every page, 
moving horizontally throughout the Psalms in gold."

An up close view of the incredible 
hand done calligraphy in this Bible.

How interesting to think of the psalms sung
 and the picture of that added to the visual reading.
Many times I think that the music we hear offers 
so much to the experience of reading Scripture.

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