Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Luttrell monsters

Yesterday in the stupid hours of the night I literally stumbled across a facsimile of the Luttrell psalter in the library. [when I say stumble I mean it, somebody left it on the floor where they were sitting and I tripped over it]
I will not go in to detail about the manuscript as it is ridiculously famous (especially for its marginalia) and its easy to find information about it on the web and in any library. The manuscript itself was created for Geoffrey Luttrell around 1325-1335.
Geoffrey Luttrell with his wife and daughter in law. Luttrell Psalter, Diocese of Lincoln, c.1325-1335, London British Library, Add MS 42130, fol 202 v.
I have seen a couple of images from the psalter before and to tell the truth because they were mostly the peasant/farming scenes I never felt inclined to search it out and study. Yet after it tripped me over and I was searching for an excuse to procrastinate I decided to give it a go. 
It is one of the most exquisite awesome things I have ever seen. There are no full page illuminations but the marginalia images are to die for. So bright, so humorous, so colourful! So imaginative! Seriously contemporary imagination is put to shame compared to the craziness that is happening on Luttrell borders. I applaude the workshop that had such extensive imagination to create so many hybrids with no two similar. I can probably sing praises for another few paragraphs so I will stop writing here and just upload the the images for them to be judged in their own right.

And we shall start with two UNICORNS!!!
Luttrell Psalter, Diocese of Lincoln, c.1325-1335, London British Library, Add MS 42130, fol 15 r.
Luttrell Psalter, Diocese of Lincoln, c.1325-1335, London British Library, Add MS 42130, fol 179r.
I have no idea what it is but I think its cute.
Luttrell Psalter, Diocese of Lincoln, c.1325-1335, London British Library, Add MS 42130, fol 24r. 
The Martyrdom of St Bartholomew
The martyrdom of St Bartholomew. Luttrell Psalter, Diocese of Lincoln, c.1325-1335, London British Library, Add MS 42130, fol 103v.

This image still give me the chills thought to be fair the skinned Bartholomew is probably scarier in Michelangelo's image, but this one is more graphic in that it shows the actual process of skinning.
Michelangelo, Last Judgment, 1531-1541, Fresco, Sistine Chapel, Vatican (Detail)
 I really like this hybrid bunny.
Luttrell Psalter, Diocese of Lincoln, c.1325-1335, London British Library, Add MS 42130, fol 156v.
 Bunny Hill! 
Luttrell Psalter, Diocese of Lincoln, c.1325-1335, London British Library, Add MS 42130, fol 176v.
 The two bunnies on the top remind me of South Park's Christmas Critters. 
South Park Christmas Critter
nom nom!
Luttrell Psalter, Diocese of Lincoln, c.1325-1335, London British Library, Add MS 42130, fol 192r.

More funnzies
Luttrell Psalter, Diocese of Lincoln, c.1325-1335, London British Library, Add MS 42130, fol 145r.


Luttrell Psalter, Diocese of Lincoln, c.1325-1335, London British Library, Add MS 42130, fol 148r.

Luttrell Psalter, Diocese of Lincoln, c.1325-1335, London British Library, Add MS 42130, fol 38r.

Luttrell Psalter, Diocese of Lincoln, c.1325-1335, London British Library, Add MS 42130, fol 64v.

This one I find very flirty, its as if she is playfully posing. I can almost see it fit well on the contemporary red carpet, (compared to Lady Gaga I dont thing anyone will even notice it)
Luttrell Psalter, Diocese of Lincoln, c.1325-1335, London British Library, Add MS 42130, fol 81r.

In the end all I can say is I found my new favourite procrastination book, if only it was less heavy.


Jenny


Book of the day: M.P. Brown, Luttrell Psalter/; a facsimileLondon : British Library, 2006.  

2 comments:

  1. Very funny (especially about how you "literally stumbled" across this book) :D and very cool illustrations (except for the horrifying one of Saint Bartholomew and those sickos). If the critters were supposed to be scary, the illustrators failed I'm afraid. It looks like they were instead the first purveyors of kawaii :) I am glad you made this post and put these pictures for all to see.
    I wonder if the 7th picture is the first jackalope ever recorded?

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  2. If it was the first Jackalope that would be awesome!:) but I dont think so as its a north American mythical creature badly known in Europe and considering the date of the Psalter Europeans did not even know of America's existence:)

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