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Historiated Initial With Christ Appearing To Mary Magdalene, In A Psalter Preceded By Miniatures And A Calendar

Historiated Initial With Christ Appearing To Mary Magdalene, 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.87v

Length: 34.5

Width: 22.7

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. Psalm 101 is illustrate with a scene sometimes known as the 'Noli me Tangere' (Do not touch me), after Christ's words to Mary when she met him shortly after his resurrection. The illustration of this apparent rebuff was perhaps inspired by the opening of the psalm: 'Turn not away thy face from me . . . '.

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