The world is a scary place - the ‘Winchester Psalter’

September 6, 2017

Also known as the 'Psalter of Henry of Blois', this 12th century manuscript is an exquisite example of the English Romanesque illumination art. 

 

Its clear lines, extravagant composition and expressive portraits gives us an insight into the devotional tone of the period.

 

With King David playing a fiddle while turning attentively to God's hand or the angels playing horns (tubae) in an apocalyptic scene, we get a glimpse into the musical clues of the time. We also can hear lots of noise an screams through the expressive images of a green hell, or the intimate space created by two hugging virgins. 

 

BL, ‘Winchester Psalter’ or ‘Psalter of Henry of Blois’ Mid 12th c-2nd half of the 13th c, Cotton MS Nero C IV 

 

 

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