Click here to skip to content

The Burial of Thomas Becket, In A Psalter

The Burial of Thomas Becket, In A Psalter

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1225

Shelfmark: Harley MS 5102

Item number: f.17r

Length: 31.3

Width: 21.8

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Five full-page miniatures have been inserted as single leaves into this 13th-century Psalter, but they are in a different, older style, and are probably re-used from a 12th-century manuscript. There is no trace of a calendar or litany, and lacking any liturgical evidence, the manuscript has been tentatively attributed to the East Midlands. This is perhaps the earliest surviving image of the burial of Thomas Becket, which took place soon after his death in 1170. The upper right monk is holding a white object in his hand, probably a fragment of the saint's skull, which had been shattered when he was murdered. Becket is not depicted with a halo, which may suggest that this image was painted before his canonisation in 1173.

Search within this collection

Elsewhere on our websites

Newsletter

Latest events - register free online

Mobile app

For iPhone, iPad and Android

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Email link to a friend

Write a brief note to accompany the email

Your friend's email address: