Saturday, May 31, 2014

Sweet Caroline

  I have updated the graphics in Medieval Writing from the British Library website of images available for use under Creative Commons licence for two splendid examples of English Caroline minuscule. The Ramsay Psalter has a big, bold and imposing script, while the Harley Psalter is neat and delicate. It shows that script typology is a question of form, not style.
  The Harley Psalter not only has a colour image, but I can display a whole page, which I couldn't before as I only had photographs of segments. That meant more work to update, of course, but the results are greatly improved.
  The Harley Psalter is famed for its selection of fine and intricate coloured line drawings illustrating each Psalm. These were copied from an earlier manuscript, the Utrecht Psalter, although the text was not, as the versions of the Psalms used in each is not the same, and neither are the scripts. One illustration has been put up there for your edification and delight, but they are a whole area of study in themselves. The complete Harley Psalter has been put online by the British Library, while the complete Utrecht Psalter has also been put online by Utrecht University Library, so you can compare them for yourselves. Ain't modern technology wonderful - if only we could keep up with it.
  One day I will get on to putting some additional material on the website, but there is a lot of catching up to do first.

  Meanwhile, here is a little taster of God being carried by two cherubim tipping fire and ash on King David's enemies while angels shower them with arrows. Funny to think of monks singing about that in church in the spirit of Christian charity.

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