Psalter (MS W.10)


The scriptorium at Helmarshausen regularly exported both manuscripts and artists to nearby Paderborn and Corvey, and even to centers as far as Scandinavia. In the second half of the twelfth century, however, this pattern of patronage changed as local nobility began to commission works directly from the monastic scriptorium. An early example of this trend, this diminutive psalter was likely made for a local Guelph princess—perhaps Gertrud (ca. 1152–1197), the daughter of the duke of Saxony and a future queen of Denmark. Dressed in red brocade lined with ermine, she raises her hands in prayer. The object of her devotion, depicted on a now-lost facing page, was likely the Virgin Mary.

Psalter, in Latin
Germany, Helmarshausen, ca. 1160–70
Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MS W.10, fols. 6v–7r
Purchased by Henry Walters, before 1931