RIT CARY GRAPHIC ARTS COLLECTION
Psalters - Illustrations
Illumination of books and manuscripts, Medieval
Ms. This manuscript leaf is part of a collection of medieval manuscript leaves selected to illustrate the art of the manuscript during the period of its greatest development and influence. They have been taken from books written in various European scriptoria by Benedictine, Franciscan, Carthusian, Dominican, and other orders of monks. Many are enriched with handsome borders, initial letters, and line-endings rendered in color. Twenty-five are illuminated with burnished gold or silver. The texts include the Bible, various church service books, the writings of the Church fathers, and some of the Classics.
In gothic script
The psalter with its one hundred and fifty psalms is the best collection of religious lyrics which the world possesses. It is no wonder, therefore, that it forms an important part of so many medieval manuscripts. The Psalms are found not only in manuscripts of the bible, but also in Missals, Breviaries, and Books of Hours; and, as they had to be memorized by the priests, they were also transcribed separately. In the earlier periods there was generally a harmonious unity between the spirit of the ornament and the character of the writing. This unity is exemplified in this leaf. The three lobed, gracefully drawn symmetrical fronds of leaves in the ornament are usually accepted without question as representing the ivy plant. In the Middle Ages many magical and medicinal qualities were attributed to this plant. Unfortunately, fire and water, mice and men have in the course of the centuries often left their damaging marks on manuscript leaves. Some pages of this manuscript book show the effect of having been exposed to dampness. This vellum leaf was created in France.
Rochester Institute of Technology - RIT Libraries - Cary Graphic Arts Collection
Ege, Otto F.
Date of Original:
Date of Digitization:
Digital File Format:
Dimensions of Original:
19 x 13 cm
Original Item Location:
PORTFOLIO BOX 1-25
RIT Libraries makes materials from its collections available for educational and research purposes pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. It is your responsibility to obtain permission from the copyright holder to publish or reproduce images in print or electronic form.
The manuscript leaves of this collection were accumulated and selected and most of the accompanying information was prepared over a period of forty years by the late Otto F. Ege, Dean of the Cleveland Institute of Art and Lecturer on the History of the Book at the School of Library Science, Western Reserve University. Each leaf is matted and accompanied by a descriptive letterpress label.
Psalter. Fragments. Late 14th century