The Breslau Psalter: a thirteenth-century Paduan-Silesian collaboration for a Duchess of Breslau

The illuminated Psalter of c. 1259-66, Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum 36-1950, has long been known as a manuscript involving the Master of the Padua Epistolary dated 1259, also called the Gaibana Master after the name of the scribe of the Epistolary. The Psalter was made for a Duchess of Breslau (Wrocław) possibly as a marriage gift, and much of its very extensive illumination is not by this Italian artist but by Saxon-Thuringian and/or Silesian illuminators and scribes working in Silesia, either in Breslau itself or possibly at the Cistercian Abbey of Leubus (Lubiaz). Very little of the scholarly literature has attempted to assess the contribution of these ‘German’ artists. This paper considers their collaboration with the Gaibana Master and its effect on the very unusual design and iconographic programme of the Psalter.

Nigel Morgan is Emeritus Honorary Professor of the History of Art at the University of Cambridge, and a former Fellow of Corpus Christi College. Earlier in his career he taught at the universities of East Anglia, London, Melbourne and Oslo. In the 1980s for five years he was Director of the Index of Christian Art at Princeton University. His main research interests are late medieval English illuminated and liturgical manuscripts, with a special interest in Apocalypses and the iconography of devotional images. He also works on medieval stained glass and is preparing the Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi for the county of Kent.

Organised by Dr Alixe Bovey (The Courtauld) 

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5:00pm, 14 Nov 2018

Wednesday 14th November 2018

The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London