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Leaf from Psalter: Psalm 38, Initial D with David Pointing to His Mouth Before God
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Leaf from Psalter: Psalm 38, Initial D with David Pointing to His Mouth Before God


Description Provenance Credit
Description This page from Psalm 38 has an illuminated letter D. Inside the letter, David is pointing to his mouth as God looks down from the sky. The page is decorated with other images in the margins, such as dogs hunting and a man riding a stag. 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.
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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Creator
Period
ca. 1275-1300
Medium
ink and pigments on parchment
(Manuscripts & Rare Books)
Accession Number
W.45.70V
Measurements
H: 7 1/16 × W: 5 1/16 in. (18 × 12.9 cm)
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