Psalter world map



A Psalter is a book that contains the Bible's book of Psalms, a collection of poems and sacred songs attributed to King David, together with other variable texts such as a calendar, canticles, litany and prayers. Small and easy to handle, this book belonged to Henry VIII and was used by him in his private devotions.

The book is one of the calligrapher’s Jean Mallard’s most lavish productions, and was written and illuminated by him around 1540. It contains illuminated initials as well as eight larger illuminations that illustrate the principal divisions of the Psalms.

Several of the illustrations link Henry directly to King David.  At the beginning of the Psalms, Henry sits in his Privy Chamber contemplating the Word of God ‘day and night’, just as the Psalmist admonishes. A further example can be seen in the image gallery, where Henry is shown fighting Goliath.

Full title
Psalter, with additional hymns and prayers and a medieval world map ('The Map Psalter')
Map / Manuscript
Held by
British Library
Usage terms
Public Domain
Royal 2 A. xvi

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