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Initial C: David Playing Bells
Master of the Ingeborg Psalter (French, active about 1195 - about 1210)
Noyon (probably), France (Place Created)
Tempera colors and gold leaf on parchment
Ms. 66 (99.MK.48), fol. 105v
Leaf: 31 × 21.9 cm (12 3/16 × 8 5/8 in.)
Within the opening letter C of Psalm 97, King David plays a carillon of bells, accompanied by two companion musicians. According to the Hebrew bible, David led other musicians in musical rituals connected with the installation of the Ark of the Covenant in Jerusalem. Furthermore, the abundant textual references to musical instruments in the psalms inspired medieval illuminators to choose musical scenes to illustrate them.
Especially characteristic of the monumentality of the style of the manuscript's anonymous illuminator is the imposing and substantial figure of David, which both fills the initial and has a weighty quality. This illusion of three-dimensionality finds parallels in northern French sculpture of the time.
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