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Ultimately, this Hiberno-Saxon style created some of the most outstanding works in the history of Irish art of the Middle Ages.
These illuminated manuscripts were a mixture of religious text, copied from the bible, illustrated throughout by numerous decorative embellishments, of either abstract or representational art.
Meanwhile, the intricate embellishment of the holy manuscript would be undertaken by experienced scribes and artist-monks.
Sometimes whole pages would contain nothing but illustrations.
Thus one manuscript might be worked on simultaneously by a group of monks, all under the supervision of a chief scribe.
Novice monks typically did the mundane tasks of preparing the skins, making the goose quill pens, and mixing pigments for the artist-monks.
This Insular art form of book illustration, which emerged from a fusion of early Biblical art, traditional Celtic culture and design, with Anglo-Saxon techniques, took place as Irish missionaries, monasteries and monastic art spread across Ireland (eg.
Kildare, Durrow, Clonmacnois, Clonfert, Kells and Monasterboice), Scotland (eg. Lindisfarne off the coast of Northumbria) in the seventh and eighth centuries.
These so-called carpet pages would typically preface each Gospel and usually contained an intricate set of geometric or Celtic interlace designs, sometimes framing a central cross.