Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates/Madonna and Child Book of Kells

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Madonna and Child, folio 7 verso of the Book of Kells[edit]

Original - The oldest surviving depiction of the Madonna and Child in Western manuscript art is this page from the Book of Kells (Irish: Leabhar Cheanannais) (Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS A. I. [58]). This illuminated manuscript is a masterwork of Western calligraphy and represents the pinnacle of Insular illumination. It is also widely regarded as Ireland's finest national treasure. Transcribed by Celtic monks ca. 800, it contains the four Gospels of the New Testament in Latin, together with various prefatory texts and tables. The illustrations and ornamentation of the Book of Kells combine traditional Christian iconography with the ornate swirling motifs typical of Insular art. Figures of humans, animals and mythical beasts together with intricate knotwork and interlacing patterns in vibrant colours enliven the manuscript's pages.
Older lower res version scanned from different book by someone else
Very high res image of a page from the Book of Kells, a masterpiece of medieval manuscript illumination and one of the national treasures of Ireland. High encylopedic value, as this is the oldest surviving manuscript image of the Madonna and Child in Western art, in addition to the inherent significance of the manuscript itself.
Articles this image appears in
Book of Kells
Manuscript: Unknown artist. Scan by PKM
  • Support as nominator PKM (talk) 20:44, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
    • Comment: Caption is condensed from the article Book of Kells. - PKM (talk) 20:45, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment I don't it a scan of a photograph of the page, or a scan of the page itself? I ask because the right side of the page (especially the top right corner) seems to suffer from barrel distortion. Also, for some reason, I feel like there's the slightest bit of motion blur...but maybe my eyes deceive me. —BrOnXbOmBr21talkcontribs • 06:48, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose, because I notice the same things as BrOnXbOmBr21. If the errors on your end then maybe a rescan can work. If they are that way in the book then we will need to find another source. gren グレン 15:36, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
    • Comment It's a scan from a book - the problem may be in the original photo; the pages are distorted. I'll see if I can rescan, may not be today. - PKM (talk) 19:44, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
    • Comment The apparent barrel distortion is in the original photograph, as is the uneven softness. As you can see from the second, lower res image (the one we had in Commons prior to mine), which was scanned by someone else from a photo in a different book, the rectangular portion of the image does not have straight lines. I assume the distortion is an artifact of the actual 1200 year old manuscript itself. I would not want to artificially correct for it. - PKM (talk) 02:39, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Not sure what to say. I'm looking at two good full-page photos in :
Walther, Ingo F. and Wolf, Norbert, Masterpieces of Illumination (Codices Illustres); pp 82-3; 2005, Taschen, Köln; ISBN 382284750X (a dps which shows the whole opening all the way to the outside edge of the book cover), and
Nordenfalk, Carl. Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Painting: Book illumination in the British Isles 600-800, p.118, Chatto & Windus, London (New York: George Braziller), 1977.

The "barrel distortion" is because this comes from the middle of a fat book, last unbound in 1953 - all photos share it (this is a left hand page). My two photos have, as usual, very different colour values, of which the Nordenfalk ones seem the most harmonious, and therefore one imagines the most accurate. There the dark carmine of the Virgin's upper robe is much more clearly a darker version of the carmine below, and round the edge. But the greens and ochre/oranges are less vibrant - I think they may be overdone here. The interlace patterns, especially in the left border, are much more coherent, and the unpainted vellum in the face etc is less blotchy. Both are on the whole more attractive and clearer than this (on my screen of course). But this is clearly a great improvement, and certainly a very important image. I'm not sure where that leaves it by FP standards. Johnbod (talk) 17:18, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

    • Comment That probably leaves it out of the running. :-) I haven't seen the Book of Kells in person since it was in San Francisco in the 1970s, but my recollection is that the image I scanned (from the catalogue to that exhibit) is close to the actual images under the sort of lighting in which I saw it displayed. But that was 30 years ago. I don't suppose you are in a position to get a scan from either of those books...? Has anyone been to Ireland recently? - PKM (talk) 18:07, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Not a good enough one (scan), and that page is only on display some of the time - not sure how often. The colours look bright compared to the Book of Lindisfarne, which I've seen more often. I know from proofing colours against original works how hard it can be to get the balance right (even from a 30 megabyte image), and often the results of comparing a museum's own catalogue to their original are alarming! It is certainly a big improvement anyway, and I'm sure as good as can be got by scanning from a book. Johnbod (talk) 21:25, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Not promoted . --John254 16:17, 20 April 2008 (UTC)