The Hours of Philip the Bold

Gradual Psalms

Texts and Images

The fifteen Gradual Psalms (119-133), the Old Testament songs probably chanted by pilgrims as they climbed the steps to the Temple of Jerusalem, were recited as medieval prayers of spiritual ascent. The first of them, Psalm 119, has a small image of Philip the Bold at the foot of a staircase leading to an altar. The remaining Gradual Psalms open with ornamental initials.

This page was illuminated by the Master of the Grandes Heures. The steps represent the Gradual Psalms, prayers of spiritual ascent, while the Crucifix on the altar is the focal point of the patron’s devotion.