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Malgorzata Krasnodebska-D'Aughton
Word & Image
Christ as the visible image of the invisible God: decoration of the In principio initials in early Insular manuscripts
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By cross-relating the opening of John's Gospel to the opening lines of the Book of Genesis, as well as to the hymn in the Epistle to the Colossians, the paper suggests that the In principio pages in the Insular manuscripts evoke the notion of Christ as the image of God. They reveal Christ as the Creator who is manifested in his own creation. The culmination of the divine creation is man, whose presence is hinted at by the motif of the human heads that are inscribed within these initials. Finally, both Christ and man are visible manifestations of the invisible God and they are artistically evoked by the Johannine initials.


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