Back with a bang, the Anglo-Saxon Monk continues his Harley Psalter guessing game.
The Utrecht Psalter, Psalm 3: Utrecht, Universiteitsbibliotheek, MS Bibl. Rhenotraiectinae I Nr 32 (Rheims, c.830), folio 2v, detail. All images from the Utrecht Psalter that appear in this blog are by permission of the Utrecht Library. Please click on the image to go to the online digital facsimile.
How can I have been so neglectful? More than a month has passed since I sent you my last spiritual missive via this blog, and I can only beg your forgiveness, et cetera, et cetera.
Well, to show you the depths of my repentant heart, I thought it most appropriate to plunder the well of my spiritual waters and bring you the third in my on-going series of Harley Psalter charades. Nothing quite like an insightful gamble through the Psalms, now is there, beloved?
For those of you who have not managed to keep abreast of all things charades, I will refrain from publicly shaming you and merely offer you a reminder of what it's all about. Now pay attention:
The eleventh-century Harley Psalter is an English copy of the Carolingian Utrecht Psalter, produced in the ninth century. Each of the Psalms in these great manuscripts is cleverly illustrated by focusing on individual words or phrases that appear in the text.
So what you see is not 'narrative art', in the traditional sense, where a story unfolds visually (by way of example, you might think of illustrated scenes from the Old Testament in medieval manuscripts, or your own modern comic strips), but rather you get to participate in the artist's game of 'which-bit-am-I?' Hence, the art historian William Noel coined the phrase ‘medieval charades’, which is what you're about to play now. Oh yes you are!