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Historiated Initial Of A Standing Bishop, In A Psalter Preceded By Miniatures And A Calendar

Historiated Initial Of A Standing Bishop, 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.21v

Length: 34.5

Width: 21.9

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. Each verse of the psalms has a gold initial on a red and blue ground, and each psalm has a larger, more elaborate (often historiated) illuminated initial. The displacement into the left margin of the small initial 'Q' shows that the psalm initial was executed before the verse initials.

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