Ubi Dubium, Ibi Libertas

Ubi Dubi web150ppi.jpg
Ubi 6b.jpg
Ubi 3b.jpg
Ubi 4b.jpg
Ubi 5b.jpg
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Ubi Dubi web150ppi.jpg
Ubi 6b.jpg
Ubi 3b.jpg
Ubi 4b.jpg
Ubi 5b.jpg
Ubi 2b.jpg

Ubi Dubium, Ibi Libertas

150.00

Gouache on calfskin vellum
11 x 15 in / 28 x 38 cm
Michael Carroll, 2016

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Like most Irish gospel books, the Book of Kells features elaborate two-page spreads to mark the start of the Evangelists’ texts. For the left side, the monks often designed “carpet-pages” of pure decoration to match the illuminated open-ing words on the right: the incipit page (Latin: beginning). The most famous in Kells are the Eight-Circle Cross and the great Chi Rho, which no longer face each other but follow in sequence at folios (leaves) 33R and 34R…possibly an error in rebinding, centuries later.

Michael Carroll’s UBI DUBIUM is a brand new incipit page, the companion to his previous work ENLIGHTENMENT. This pairing is not only in color and style, but in context. Celtic monks of the 8th century were renowned for their love of all learning; copying not only Christian books but Greek and Roman classics as well. The quote here is an old Roman proverb, author unknown: “Where there is doubt, there is liberty.”

This artwork is modeled on elements of the Chi Rho and other incipit pages in Kells, but with the lighter, more open look of the earlier Lindisfarne Gospels. The use of red dots (rubrication) is characteristic of Lindisfarne, allowing the natural parchment color to break through and become an integral part of the design.

UBI DUBIUM, IBI LIBERTAS was painted in gouache on manuscript vellum using the tools and techniques of the ancient monks. It is an original design, requiring 400 hours to complete over a year’s time. Now available as a fine art giclee print in a limited edition of 300, this artwork is printed on heavyweight acid-free watercolor paper with archival inks rated to last over 80 years.

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