The Breslau Psalter


Artists' Techniques

Underdrawing, probably drawn with a dry medium, can be detected in the infrared images of many folios, particularly to define drapery folds. It is especially apparent in the compositions painted by Hand A – most strikingly in Christ’s flowing robe on fol. 87v.

The position of the miniature’s outer frames was also sketched on the page prior to painting, as is apparent especially on fols. 49v and 51r.   

Lightbox: 203
Detail of the kneeling king’s face and halo under magnification (7.5x). His flesh tone is built upon a light blue layer painted with woad, while his hair and beard contain ultramarine blue. The gold leaf of the halo, laid over a ground layer containing verdigris, has suffered significant losses due to the degradation and loss of adhesion of the green pigment.

The monumental figures and elaborately tooled gold halos are characteristic of Hand A’s work. The composition betrays his collaboration with – or knowledge of works by – the Master of Giovanni da Gaibana, as it is closely related to the Gaibana Master’s painting of the same subject in the Paduan Epistolary.