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Historiated Initial With King David And His Musicians, In A Psalter

Historiated Initial With King David And His Musicians, In A Psalter

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1220

Shelfmark: Lansdowne MS 431

Item number: f.64v

Length: 33

Width: 21

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

The saints commemorated in the calendar and litany of this Psalter point without doubt to its having been made for an Augustinian house in East Anglia, and this house is very likely to have been Barnwell Priory, on the outskirts of Cambridge. Psalm 80 begins 'Rejoice to God our helper: sing aloud to the God of Jacob' and is often illustrated in medieval Psalters with an image of music-making or singing. In this case the upper left-hand figure, with a harp and headgear that may represent a simple crown, is probably intended as King David, and the other three figures are his musicians: Asaph, Ethan, and Idithun,

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