New Theory on the Fécamp Psalter

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Brother Ranulf
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New Theory on the Fécamp Psalter

Postby Brother Ranulf » Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:17 am

The Dutch KB (Koninklijke Bibliotheek) website has recently published a new theory about the 12th century book of psalms formerly known as the Fécamp Psalter.

This book, it suggests, was really written for Eleanor of Aquitaine in about 1185 and the portrait of the unknown "Lady Donor" in the manuscript is actually an accurate portrait of Eleanor herself. They provide a lot of circumstantial evidence, together with some fairly tenuous ideas such as her vair-lined cloak, which is the same as shown on a wall painting depicting Eleanor. The fact is that many nobles and royals at that time are shown with cloaks lined with vair (the grey and white winter fur of red squirrels imported from northern Germany and Russia). Taking all of their evidence as a whole, it seems reasonable to conclude that they might be right = but the case is still not proven.

If correct, the "Eleanor Psalter" would provide evidence for her clothing and appearance in her later years (she was 63 in 1185), as well as references to her favoured saints in the calendar section.

It's an interesting theory and I await further opinions . . .


Brother Ranulf

"Patres nostri et nos hanc insulam in brevi edomuimus in brevi nostris subdidimus legibus, nostris obsequiis mancipavimus" - Walter Espec 1138

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