14th Century English
Black & White Line Art
About the Source:
Time period: circa 1325 – 1335
About the Scroll:
Type of scroll: Peerage (Laurel)
Scroll Recipient: Mistress Gwen a'Broke
Date of Completion:
Luttrell Psalter (British Library, Add. MS 42130) is an illuminated manuscript written and illustrated circa 1325 – 1335 by anonymous scribes and artists. It was commissioned by Sir Geoffrey Luttrell (died 1345), a wealthy English landowner who lived at Irnham, Lincolnshire.
Along with the psalms (beginning on 13 recto), the book contains a calendar (1 r), canticles (259 verso), the Mass (283 v) and an antiphon for the dead (295 r). The pages vary in their degree of illumination but many are richly covered with both decorated text and marginal pictures of saints and Bible stories, of rural life, farming, cooking, doctoring, spouses squabbling, musicians playing, etc. It is considered by some to be one of the richest sources for visual depictions of everyday rural life in England of the Middle Ages.
The illustrations also include very many strange combinations of parts of animal and human figures. Most remain obscure but some can be related to the text beside which they are painted and this helps a little, towards giving an insight into the symbolism of the similarly strange creatures found carved into the stonework of some church buildings of the book's period.
The British Library published a facsimile of the Psalter in 2006.
Note: Having trouble uploading Luttrell Psalter images from my computer.