From an early date, Church Fathers and theologians wrote commentaries on the Bible, which survive in numerous copies. This manuscript is an illuminated copy of the book of Psalms, produced in England at the end of the 12th century. Its commentary, or gloss, appears in two columns on either side of the main Psalm text in the centre, and between the lines of the Psalms. The verses of the Psalms themselves are written in larger letters, to distinguish them from the surrounding gloss.
Large illuminated initials appear at various stages throughout the book, marking the beginnings of specific Psalms, as well as the Canticles. Two of these initials incorporate representations of King David; one where he sits with a crown, holding a harp, the other depicting his fight with Goliath.
This manuscript was digitised with the support of The Polonsky Foundation.
- Article by:
- Kathleen Doyle, Eleanor Jackson
- Art and illumination, Making manuscripts, Christian religion and belief
Manuscripts reflect the creativity of artists and scribes, and the resources of their patrons. Kathleen Doyle and Eleanor Jackson outline the development of book art in early medieval England.