Free Library of Philadelphia


In the lower register of this full-page initial B, beginning Psalm 1 "Beatus vir..." (Blessed is the man), a young David prepares to sling the rock that will strike Goliath dead. Above, King David plays a harp. While these scenes are typical of medieval iconography, certain aspects apparent in the initial's execution, such as the quality and application of the gold leaf and pigments as well as the manner of the artist's style, suggest that this miniature is a modern forgery executed in the nineteenth century. Indeed, it was copied by the forger from a full-page initial in a psalter now in the Morgan Library in New York (M. 97). The rest of the manuscript is authentic.

Initial B, beginning Psalm 1

This manuscript has been dated to ca. 1270.

Digital Scriptorium ShelfMark:

Rare Book Department