The Breslau Psalter

Full-page prefatory miniatures

Texts and Images

The prefatory cycle contains eight full-page miniatures depicting events in Christ’s early life, starting with the Annunciation. Found in deluxe Psalters, such cycles underscored the understanding of the Psalms as Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in the New Testament. Presented as pairs on double openings, the miniatures are painted on one side of the leaves only, leaving the other side of the costly parchment blank. This is one of the numerous indications that no expense was spared in the production of this manuscript.

Lightbox: 202
Detail of the king on the left’s face under magnification (7.5x), showing the distinct blue base layer in the flesh tone, painted with woad, and the strong facial features painted with thick strokes of vermilion red and lead white.