This is a fascinating look at one of the world's most important and rewned 12th-century manuscripts. The St. Albans Psalter is one of the most important, famous, and puzzling books produced in 12th-century England. It was probably created between 1120 and 1140 at St. Albans Abbey. The manuscript's powerfully drawn figures and saturated colours are distinct from those in previous Anglo-Saxon painting and signal the arrival of the Romanesque style of illumination in England. Although most 12th-century prayer books were t illustrated, the St. Albans Psalter includes more than 40 full-page illuminations and over 200 historiated initials. Decorated with gold and precious colours, the psalter offers a display unparalleled by any other English manuscript to survive from the time. In 2012, scholars conservators, and scientists at the J. Paul Getty Musesum conducted a close examination of the Psalter, gathering new evidence challenging several prevailing assumptions about this richly illustrated manuscript.
Kristen Collins is associate curator in the Department of Manuscripts at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Peter Kidd is a freelance researcher specializing in medieval manuscripts. Nancy Turner is manuscripts conservator in the Department of Paper Conservation at the J. Paul Getty Museum.