Lisa psalters dating
Robert was sub-prior of the religious house, third in its pecking order. He was sometime a prior at Hoxne – a daughter ‘cell’ of Norwich – and was the second son of a prosperous Norfolk family. Because he donated the psalter to his successor sub-priors, though, Freddie has discovered it could well link in to one of the cathedral’s biggest disasters.The monks were still struggling to cope with the aftermath of the Black Death when, on January 15 1362, the spire collapsed into the east end of the priory church.A lower border with a knight fighting a multi-headed dragon... This type of quirky detail is typical of the East Anglia creators of this beautiful book. Look closely at the startlingly vivid colours of this medieval wonder - one of the greatest treasures of the Bodleian Library in Oxford – and you’ll see something decidedly rum going on. But in the case of the Ormesby Psalter, it’s the wonder that’s to be found there instead.
Her book, The Ormesby Psalter: Patrons and Artists in Medieval East Anglia, is the fruit of 18 years of study, first started when she studied the subject for her Ph D.
The hand of four or five scribes, three main illuminators and numerous lesser ones can be spotted among the pages.
Apart from Robert’s datable donation, trying to work out the ‘when’ has been even more tricky than the ‘who’.
“These objects are the only way the past has to speak to us,” she observes.
“But you have to understand what they’re trying to say.
It’s a whopper, measuring 39.4cm by 27.9cm – that’s a shade under modern A3 size.