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Historiated Initial To Psalm 38, In The 'Princess Joan Psalter'

Historiated Initial To Psalm 38, In The 'Princess Joan Psalter'

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1405

Shelfmark: Royal MS 2 B.viii

Item number: f.43v

Length: 27.5

Width: 17

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

The computistical materials at the beginning of this manuscript were drawn up in 1380 at the request of the mother of Richard II, Lady Joan Holland. It used to be thought that this was the original presentation copy made for Joan, hence the name the 'Princess Joan Psalter'. Two of its historiated initials are by Joannes, one of the leading artists of early 15th-century London. The historiated initial 'D' to Psalm 38 is illustrated in literal way: the image of King David pointing to his mouth, and to the path before him, are inspired by the first words of the text: 'I said "I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue . . ."'

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