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Scenes from the Childhood of Christ

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Date : 2018

From the De Lisle Psalter

De Lisle Psalter, London (?) ca. 1310

The manuscript of the De Lisle-Psalter is a great main work of 14thcentury English book illumination. It is left as a fragment of 19 leaves, bound together with another illustrated English Psalter (Arundel 83, I). The miniatures of the De Lisle-Psalter present a variety of contemporary motifs of the subjects.

The miniature with scenes from the Life of Christ’s Childhood was painted by the Madonna-Master, who must have started about 1310, but left the work as a fragment. Not until 1330 the second master added his miniatures which are more monumental, icon-like and of more intense colours. The Madonna-Master, one of the two main artists, combines the French decorative Gothic ideal of human grace and courtly elegance with decorative elements of the Anglican style reflecting contemporary panel-painting. Before the ornamental background of artfully arranged small patterns in changing colours (red, blue and gold) and within Gothic quatrefoil frames the artist displays his expressive, sometimes lyrical and idyllic, sometimes dramatic narrative art.

Six pair wise arranged scenes tell about Christ’s childhood: The Birth, Annunciation to the shepherds, Christ´s Circumcision, The Adoration of the Three Magi, Christ’s Presentation in the Temple, The Flight of the Holy Family to Egypt.

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