Anglo-Catalan Psalter

Photo of pages 230 and 231 of the Anglo-Catalan Psalter, with an innovative composition not seen on previous pages.

P. 230-231

A hymn, O God, is befitting for you in Sion
Folio 109v, psalm 64.

Te decet hymnus Deus in Syon

This folio features an innovative composition not seen on previous pages. The quadrangular space left empty by the English copyist has been modified to include a variety of scenes arranged in a circular fashion flanked by the tetramorph. The winged symbols of the evangelists, bearing phylacteries with the names of John, Matthew, Mark and Luke, suggest the square that is neither completely defined nor able to fit in the circle clearly protruding at the bottom. The inside of the sphere is divided into three levels. The first and the last ones, i.e. those at the top and the bottom, provide contrasting images of Heaven and Hell. In the upper zone, Christ with the globe and the Virgin at prayer with a veil, both enthroned as if this were the Coronation of Mary but without any crowns, preside over the meeting of the Chosen Ones sitting on both sides of the throne and main place. The apostles occupy important positions between them whilst overhead, the court of praying angels emerges (v. 5, Beatus quem elegisti, et assumpsisti: inhabitavit in altriis tuis. Replebimur in bonis domus tuae: sanctum est templum tuum // Blessed is he whom thou hast chosen and taken to thee: he shall dwell in thy courts. We shall be filled with the good things of thy house; holy is thy temple; v. 6 Mirabile in aequitate... // Wonderful in justice).

Rosa Alcoy - University of Barcelona

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