De Lisle Psalter

Description

Taken from the De Lisle Psalter, this illustration tells the moral story The Three Living and the Three Dead in which three figures, often aristocratic and flaunting their vitality, meet three corpses who warn them about the inevitability of death. The numerous variations of this story and their accompanying illustrations provide a stark contrast between the beauty of the living and the worm-eaten corpses of the deceased. Moral messages about the importance of living a virtuous life on Earth are typical amongst Psalters and Book of Hours.

Full title:
Psalter (the 'De Lisle Psalter')
Created:
c. 1308–40, England
Format:
Manuscript
Language:
Latin
Usage terms

Public Domain in most countries other than the UK.

Held by
British Library
Shelfmark:
Arundel MS 83

Full catalogue details

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Death and the afterlife

Article by:
Alixe Bovey

Images of the afterlife dominate illuminated manuscripts, paintings, sculptures and literature in the Middle Ages. Dr Alixe Bovey examines how ideas of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory impacted on everday life.

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