St. Albans Psalter: A Comparative Analysis

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The following two psalters, Utrecht Psalter and St. Albans Psalter, are two very important manuscripts for Carolingian art, Anglo-Saxon art, and Christianity, in the Middle Ages. The entire volume of the Utrecht Psalter contains 108 vellum leaves, 13 by 10 inches, with the pages formed by quires of eight pages folded. The Psalter is written in rustic capitals, a script that had fell out of use by the time of the 9th century. The Utrecht Psalter was intended to be used as a choir book for multiple monks all reading at the same time. The Utrecht Psalter was thought to be used as a tool for teaching the younger monks in monasteries Psalms by heart. The archaic conventions evident throughout the text previously suggested that the work could be…show more content…
Albans Psalter, foretells that those who are holy shall be preserved forever, and the unjust shall be punished and the seed of the wicked shall perish. The image of Christ passing judgment is incorporated into an illuminated header, and is inserted into the center of the folio surrounded by text on its top half, bottom half, and on the images righthand side. The header is beautifully illuminated with colors of crimson, gold, blue, green, orange, and white. Christ is displayed looking down upon three figures, directing one of the figures with a rod. This rod signifies Christ’s judgment and its use to literally direct one of the men “With the lord the step of man shall be directed”. This man that is directed by rod is seen to be a sinner and the other two figures are the just Christ is protecting. The stanzas in which the psalm should be sung are marked by capital letters illuminated in different colors ranging from red, purple, blue, and green. Following these letters, the text of each stanza is hand written in ink in Latin. This psalm contains large vertical and a large rightward margin drawing the readers eye to the center of the work. The word ECLINA is displayed next to Christ’s image illuminated in purple in all capital letters. This word could have a correlation with the French name Celina, meaning sky or heaven, signifying that Christ is in heaven passing judgement. Text above ECLINA illuminated in red, reads “Iniusti punientur” meaning the unjust shall be punished, giving context to the image of Christ in the heavens presented in the psalm. Psalm 32, contained in the Utrecht Psalter, is a psalm directing the reader to give praise to the lord. The images contained in the psalm are displayed in a light ink in the upper section of the manuscript followed by text directly below it. This psalm has an abundance of imagery from a psalmist on a hill playing a harp while gazing at the heavens, to an angle
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