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Fieschi Psalter
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Fieschi Psalter

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description This Psalter, with an additional Office of the Dead, was created in the late thirteenth century in northeastern France. A large quantity of Franciscan saints in the calendar and litany, as well as marginal imagery of them, suggests that the original owner had a strong affinity for that order. The manuscript was likely begun for one patron but finished for another, given a change in scribal and artistic hands and the addition of heraldry from Psalm 109 onward. Arms for the Fieschi family, as well as a birth notice in the calendar, identify the manuscript's first owner as Leonardo dei Fieschi, a Genoese nobleman (d. 1331). Among a multitude of drolleries, the manuscript contains a number of unusual marginal vignettes depicting SS. Francis, Clare, and Elisabeth of Hungary. One image of St. Francis (fol. 139v) is heavily worn, which may be evidence of devotional touching by the manuscript's owner.
Date Description Narrative
1/18/1985Examinationexamined for condition
  • God's Minstrel: St. Francis of Assisi. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1982.
  • Illuminated Manuscripts: Masterpieces in Miniature. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984-1985.
  • Jewish Heroes in Christian Books. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1986.
  • The Illuminated Initial. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1991-1992.
  • Manuscript Sleuthing: Discoveries of a Curator. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1995.
  • The Psalms of David in the Middle Ages. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1996.
  • The Book of Kings: Art, War, and the Morgan Library's Medieval Picture Bible. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Academy Art Museum, Easton; Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton; The Mitchell Gallery, Annapolis; Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown. 2002.
  • Beasts on Parchment: Picturing Animals in Medieval Manuscripts. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2010-2011.
  • Seeing Music in Medieval Manuscripts. 2014.
Provenance Acquired by Leonardo dei Fieschi (d. 1331), Genoa, ca. 1290-1331. Acquired by Léon or Paul Gruel, Paris, ca. 1900-1910; purchased by Henry Walters, Baltimore; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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ca. 1275-1300
ink and pigments on medium-weight parchment bound between beech boards covered with dark brown leather
(Manuscripts & Rare Books)
Accession Number
Folio H: 7 1/16 × W: 5 1/16 in. (18 × 12.9 cm)
  • France (Place of Origin)
  • Genoa (Place of Binding)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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