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Claricia Psalter
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Claricia Psalter

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description This Psalter was made for, and most likely by, a group of Benedictine nuns at the abbey of saints Ulrich and Afra in Augsburg, Germany. Although the Psalter itself, along with its calendar, dates to the late twelfth or early thirteenth century, a number of texts and prayers were added in the mid thirteenth century. Most striking about the manuscript are its illuminations, which include a prefatory cycle, full-page miniatures, and historiated initials. While all are Romanesque in style, they vary greatly in quality and technique, and three or four different artists seem to have been at work. The Claricia Psalter takes its name from one of the initials, which depicts a young girl in secular dress swinging from the initial "Q," who has "Claricia" written around her head. It has been suggested that the image represents a novice artist who signed her work, but there are many other theories, and none are certain.
Date Description Narrative
2/20/1985Examinationexamined for condition
  • Old Mistresses: Women Artists of the Past. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1972.
  • Illuminated Manuscripts: Masterpieces in Miniature. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984-1985.
  • From Romanesque to Gothic: Illumination in Transition. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1990.
  • Schatzkammer: Henry Walters' German Manuscripts. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2006.
  • Excursions through the Collection: Portraiture, Adornment, and the Natural World. 2019-2021.
Provenance Made for an abbey in southern Germany, probably the Benedictine house of SS. Ulrich and Afra in Augsburg [Ulrich and Afra appear in the calendar and are depicted on fol. 131v; thirteenth-century note in German, top of fol. 2r]; Bénigne-Charles Févret de Saint-Mémin (1770-1852) [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [bookplate originally on front pastedown, no longer extant]; Prince of Stolberg-Wernigerode, Zeisberg sale, Wernigerode, October 10, 1854, no. 37 [no. Za51 on spine]; G. Schar [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [G. Schar 20 on fol. 1r]; Léon Gruel collection, Paris, late 19th-early 20th century [mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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late 12th-early 13th century (Medieval)
ink and pigments on velvety parchment of medium thickness, well prepared but very worn from use between original (or possibly thirteenth- or fourteenth-century) beech boards covered by much-abraded leather with five metal bosses on upper and lower boards; remains of leather straps visible; thirteenth- or fourteenth-century charters used as pastedowns on both boards (lower board pastedown now numbered as final folio)
(Manuscripts & Rare Books)
Accession Number
H: 9 x W: 5 7/8 in. (22.8 x 15 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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