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detail

Psalter

Psalterium

Vellum leaf from an illuminated Medieval Manuscript
Flanders; Middle 13th Century
Latin Text; Angular Gothic Script
13 by 9.5 cm

Small Psalters of this period are comparatively rare, since Psalters were used primarily in the church services and not by the layman. Here, the letters and ornament still retain all the rigidity of the previous century and give no indication of the rounder type of letter or any beginning of the interest in nature that characterized the work of the scribes in France. The filigree decoration, as well as the line-finishing elements, show, however, more creative freedom than either the initial or the text letters. The small burnished gold letters display considerable skill on the part of the illuminator, for it is difficult to control small designs in the gesso used as a base for the raised gold leaf.


Keywords: 1200s, Bible, Flanders, formal, gothic, initials, Old Testament , Psalter, script

Manuscripts | Cary Collection