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Beatus Page, In A Psalter Preceded By Miniatures And A Calendar

Beatus Page, In A Psalter Preceded By Miniatures And A Calendar

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1210

Shelfmark: Royal MS 1 D.x

Item number: f.16r

Length: 34.4

Width: 23

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Oxford University came into being gradually, around the year 1200, and a community of book-makers were soon established in the town, centred around the Catte Street and St. Mary's Church. Documentary records suggest that these book-makers not only provided students with the necessary textbooks, but also specialised in meeting the needs of the luxury market: a disproportionately large number of illuminators are recorded. This psalter is probably one of their products: the calendar and litany include three entries for St. Frideswide, the patron saint of Oxford. The start of the psalms is marked by a large, very intricate, illuminated initial 'B', filled with tightly coiling spirals of foliage. In the roundels at the corners are (top) David killing a lion, and David harping, and (bottom) Saul throwing a spear at David, who moves to avoid it.

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