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Collections | Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Biblical Cycle

Biblical cycle, leaf from the prefatory cycle of the Eadwine Psalter.
England, Canterbury, Christ Church Priory, ca. 1155–60.
400 x 290 mm
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1911. MS M.521r.
See CORSAIR catalog record for this item »

This leaf, MS M. 724, and six other prefatory leaves were probably removed between 1584, when Richard Arkinstall gave the Psalter to Cambridge University, and its rebinding before Thomas Nevile (d. 1615) gave it to Trinity College, where it is today. The leaves may have been regarded as extraneous to the five different Psalter versions in the book. Four leaves were later acquired by William Young Ottley (1771–1836) and were in his sale at Sotheby's on 12 May 1838, lots 130–33. This leaf was lot 133. When Pierpont Morgan purchased it from Joseph Martini in 1911, it was bound in English nineteenth-century brown levant morocco with gilt panels. It was subsequently rebound with the second Morgan leaf by Marguerite Duprez-Lahey around 1927. Both leaves were subsequently disbound and matted.

This leaf is densely illustrated; twelve square compartments each contain two or more scenes from the life of Christ and parables.
Row 1: Two Seated Blind Men Call out to Christ and Are Healed; Apostles Eating Corn on the Sabbath, Christ and Apostles Rebuked by Pharisees; Christ Healing the Man's Withered Hand, Christ Healing the Blind and Dumb Demoniac
Row 2: Christ Feeding the Five Thousand; Christ Praying on the Mountain, Christ and Peter Walking on the Water; Canaanite Woman Asking Christ to Help Her Daughter, Dogs Eating the Crumbs
Row 3: Christ Giving the Keys to St. Peter, Transfiguration; Parable of the Unjust Servant; Parable of the Vineyard
Row 4: Woman Taken in Adultery; Story of the rich man and Lazarus; Story of the Prodigal Son

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Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.