Join Amazon Prime Video Channels Free Trial


Scenes from the Life of King David
Simon Psalter, Monastery of St George, Novgorod, 1290s
Historical Museum, Moscow, Russia



MINIATURIST, Russian
(active 1290s in Novgorod)

Simon Psalter
1290s
Manuscript, 275 x 200 mm
Historical Museum, Moscow

This manuscript was created for the Monastery of St George in Novgorod. It contains 150 psalms with 3 full-page and 116 smaller miniatures. Although Byzantine stylistic influences can be found in the miniatures, they are dominated by the fundamentally local character that distinguishes the art of Novgorod in the second half of the 13th century.

The full-page miniature on folio 239r depicts scenes from the life of King David. It appears between Psalms 118 and 119.
Source: Web Gallery of Art



    In another type of illustration, psalters might have at the front a whole cycle of miniatures showing the salvation won by Christ. An example of such aids to individual devotion is the Winchester Psalter, which begins with more than 80 scenes proceeding from the Fall to the Last Judgement. The life of David forms only a small part of the sequence, which above all features scenes from the Gospels and Christ in glory (see Haney). In the East we have the Simon Psalter, produced in Novgorod towards 1300. The text of the Psalms is here illustrated by 119 miniatures, and the first three are full-page illustrations. In one, David composes psalms and is accompanied by Solomon and musicians; in another, he writes down psalms. But the first page shows the risen Christ appearing in the garden to Martha and Mary. Christian interpretation is clear also in the Kiev Psalter, dated 1397; in the margin of 22, for example, three scenes from Christís passion are each linked to appropriate verses by a thin red line: Christ surrounded by soldiers with heads like dogs' heads, soldiers nailing Christ to the cross, and soldiers sharing out the garments.
Source: p.52, The Psalms: A Historical and Spiritual Commentary by J. H. Eaton



Other Russian Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers
13th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers