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"Beasts, Benedictines and the Ormesby Master : Pictorial exegesis in English fourteenth-century manuscript illumination"
Frederica Law-Turner
The British Art Journal, 1:1, 1999
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"The Ormesby Psalter (Oxford, Bodleian Library ms Douce 366) is one of the most magnificent, yet enigmatic, of English fourteenth-century manuscripts. It was produced in a series of campaigns between c1280 and c1340, for a succession of different patrons, both lay and monastic. The majority of the illumination - including the images discussed in this article - was executed as part of a single campaign, under the patronage of two prominent East Anglian families, the Bardolfs and Foliots, whose arms recur in the initials, borders and line-endings of the manuscript. The decoration was executed at a centre in East Anglia, probably Norwich, and the initials and borders of its main pages encapsulate the East-Anglian style. The books pictorial programme is typical of luxury psalters of the first half of the fourteenth century, with imagery concentrated at those psalms which mark the liturgical division of the text. In addition to sacred subjects depicted in large historiated initials, the margins of these folios teem with a extraordinary range of people, plants, animals, birds and bizarre beasts." - Law-Turner

Language: English

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