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A Pilgrim In The Initial To Psalm 38, In 'The Map Psalter'

A Pilgrim In The Initial To Psalm 38, In 'The Map Psalter'

Date: 1265

Shelfmark: Additional MS 28681

Item number: f.54v

Genre: Illuminated Manuscript

This Psalter is famous for, and named after, its full-page miniature of a map of the world, which is related to the famous medieval map of the world (Mappa Mundi) at Hereford cathedral. But it also has a series of full-page miniatures of the life of Christ, added late in the 13th century; historiated initials at the usual psalter divisions; and an unusual image of the Virgin and Child. The calendar and other features suggest a London/Westminster origin, and the presence of the feast of Richard of Chichester, canonised in 1262, provides the earliest possible date for the production of the book.

The depiction of a traveller to illustrate Psalm 38 is inspired by the opening words: 'I said: I will take heed to my ways . . .'. Sometimes King David is depicted as the traveller; a pilgrim is perhaps a characteristic of Psalters illuminated in London.

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