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Full-Page Beatus Initial, In A Psalter

Full-Page Beatus Initial, In A Psalter

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1250

Shelfmark: Royal MS 2 B.vi

Item number: f.13v

Length: 27.6

Width: 18.7

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Mid 13th-century St. Albans is crucially important in the history of English illuminated manuscripts thanks primarily to the works of Matthew Paris, a monk of the abbey. Many manuscripts have been--probably wrongly--attributed to the abbey by comparison with Matthew's style and technique; this psalter is therefore important because its claim to be a St. Albans product (based on the calendar, litany, and early ownership by a St. Albans monk) is secure. Although lavish in scale and in its use of gold, this initial is remarkably plain in design. It has the appearance of being unfinished, as one might expect the coloured backgrounds to be patterned.

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