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Leaf from a Psalter: The Crucifixion

Leaf from a Psalter: The Crucifixion

c. 1300-1330

Ink, tempera and gold on vellum

Leaf: 9.4 x 7.3 cm (3 11/16 x 2 7/8 in.)

The Jeanne Miles Blackburn Collection 2011.54

Description

The diocese of Liège was extremely active as a production center for psalters and psalter-hours from the second half of the 1200s through about 1330. This market, no doubt, was stimulated by the need of women for a devotional text. As women were drawn to the convents of religious orders such as the Dominicans, the Beguines and Begards, and the Poor Clares, they had need of a book that would provide them with suitable devotional material. The psalter was the book that these women, many of whom were high-born, most commonly used. The present leaf, with its monumental miniature of the Crucifixion, and like many surviving 13th-century psalters, may have thus provided visual focus for the prayers of a woman in a convent setting. Customarily, the level of quality and the extent to which these books were decorated depended upon the means of the patron.

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