Miniature Excised from the "Potocki Psalter": The Deposition

Miniature Excised from the "Potocki Psalter": The Deposition

c. 1240-1250

Tempera, and gold on vellum

Sheet: 15.4 x 10 cm (6 1/16 x 3 15/16 in.); Framed: 44.5 x 34.3 cm (17 1/2 x 13 1/2 in.); Matted: 40.6 x 30.5 cm (16 x 12 in.)

Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1985.80

Description

This detached leaf derives from a Parisian luxury psalter. Psalters were books containing the 150 biblical psalms and commonly used for private devotion. It provides a superb example of Parisian Gothic painting at its most refined stage, with strong emphasis on line and color. It illustrates the new court style of King Louis IX (1214–1270) in which tall figures assume sinuous postures and the drapery forms large broken folds around the body. The high quality of the painting suggests the original psalter was destined for an aristocratic patron. The manuscript to which this miniature once belonged, the Potocki Psalter, is named after its last private owner, the Polish count Stanislaus Potocki (1755–1821). It is today preserved in the National Library of Warsaw in Poland.

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