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Psalm 52, in the Huth Psalter

Psalm 52, in the Huth Psalter

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1280

Shelfmark: Additional MS 38116

Item number: f.60v

Length: 23.7

Width: 15.4

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Named for its donor, the Huth Psalter reveals its origin by listing in its calendar of feasts and litany Saints Hugh, Wilfrid, and John of Beverly--all associated with Lincoln or York. Medieval psalters could be used publicly in the liturgy or privately as a prayer book, with decoration, calendar and added prayers tailored for the use of an individual or community. Unusual features of its illumination give vivid impressions of contemporary concerns and devotional practices. Psalm 52?s historiated initial shows the unbelieving fool referred to in the first sentence ('The fool says in his heart, "There is no God."). He and a believer stand within an arcade, the latter pointing up to a bust of Christ. Recognition of Christ's divinity is a theme seen in several of the Psalter's other illustrations. The page?s margins are enriched with foliate borders inhabited by dismayed beasts.

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