Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Luttrell Psalter goes on line

The Luttrell Psalter, one of the treasures of the British Library has been digitized and now is on line. Previously only scholars were allowed to handle this fragile, priceless masterpiece. But thanks to the new world of electronics, everybody who loves medieval art and calligraphy can view evey page.

The Luttrell Psalter is one of the most famous medieval manuscripts because of its rich illustrations of everyday life in the 14th century. It was made in the diocese of Lincoln for Sir Geoffrey Luttrell (1276 - 1345) of Irnham, probably sometime between 1325 and 1335.

The text was written throughout by one scribe and illuminated by at least five different artists

A framed miniature of Sir Geoffrey Luttrell inserted between Psalms 108 and 109 dominates this page. It was not unusual for the patron of a manuscript to appear somewhere, but they would normally be shown in a attitude of devotion. Not only is this miniature the largest in the entire manuscript, but Sir Geoffrey has had himself portrayed as a fully-armed knight, resplendent in his coat of arms. He is attended by his wife and daughter-in-law, both dressed in heraldic gowns, making a visual statement about the successful alliances he has made.

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