Tuesday, August 06, 2013

The Macclesfield Psalter

I was looking at the Macclesfield Psalter at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and admiring its colourful, witty illuminations. Although you may think it's an example of fine art from Cheshire, it was in fact produced in East Anglia in 1330 and came by its name through its last owner, the Earl of Macclesfield. Its core element is the book of Psalms and the amusing drawings in its margins are fascinating. Rabbits ride hounds, suitors advance towards ladies with pointed swords, only to be rejected, enormous fish scare men out of their wits. The patron of this fabulous work is unknown but some scholars suggest it was John, the eighth Earl of Warenne (1286-1347) who is also thought to have commissioned the Gorleston Psalter (1300-1330) which is in the British Library and came from Gorleston, near Yarmouth.


Anonymous kinglear said...

Have you ever been to Gorleston? It is the epitome of all that is British seaside towns. Believe it or not I won a prize for a champagne tea there at a tombola once. We duly turned up to find the hotel was also conducting what could only be described as the biggest fattest gypsiest wedding ever.

3:42 am  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

No I haven't been there but it sounds as if it served you well.

8:44 am  

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