Bodleian Library, MS. Douce 366
(The Ormesby Psalter)


Produced: England (East Anglia), 13th-14th century
Location: Bodleian Library, Oxford, England, UK
Type: Psalter
Language: Latin
Folios: 213
Illustrated: Yes
Media: Parchment
Dimensions: Height: 37.7 cm Width: 12 cm
Folio 147v


The Ormesby Psalter is a magnificently illustrated devotional manuscript. It is not a bestiary, but some of the marginal illustration are of animals, birds and bestiary stories, like the killing of the unicorn. There are also several grotesques and mocking scenes involving human-beast hybrids. There are no color images after folio 147v, only small preliminary sketches that were never completed.

The artist was a highly accomplished master painter. The illustrations are rich and detailed with strong colors. Mixed with all the fabulous grotesques and beasts are several highly accurate painting of birds, some readily identifiable as to species. There are fewer illustrations in this manuscript than in some other Psalters, but each one in this manuscript is a work of art.

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