Symbol of St. Matthew from the Book of Durrow
Date ca. 680
Movement Early Medieval
Medium Tempera on vellum
Dimensions 9.625 x 6.125″
Housed at Trinity College, Dublin
After having been converted to Christianity in the fifth century, Ireland quickly became a powerhouse of religious art; its monks coming together in monasteries to produce manuscripts that would be taken with missionaries across Britain and north-of-the-Alps Europe. The same intricacy that was applied to the metal works at Sutton Hoo is applied to these manuscripts; as they contained the Word of God, they were seen as precious in their own right. Here, a checkerboard pattern covers the Symbol of St. Matthew on the introductory of his Gospel.