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Trinity and Coronation of the Virgin (Psalm 109), in the Huth Psalter

Trinity and Coronation of the Virgin (Psalm 109), in the Huth Psalter

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1280

Shelfmark: Additional MS 38116

Item number: f.119v

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 prayerbook, with decoration, calendar and added prayers tailored for the use of an individual or community. Unusual features of its illuminations give vivid impressions of contemporary concerns and devotional practices.

Psalm 109's opening initial is unusual in pairing the enthroned Trinity (top) with a conventional Coronation of the Virgin. To either side stand personifications of Judaism (Synagoga) and the Church (Ecclesia). Blindfolded Synagoga's crown falls from her bowed head while Ecclesia peers at the coronation, emphasising the hard-line attitude of that age in which Christianity's vision of the divine relegated Judaism.

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