The J. Paul Getty Museum

David with Musical Instruments

Object Details


David with Musical Instruments


Master of Jean de Mandeville (French, active 1350 - 1370)




Paris, France (Place Created)


about 1360 - 1370


Tempera colors, gold, and ink on parchment

Object Number:

Ms. 1, v1 (84.MA.40.1), fol. 273


Leaf: 34.9 × 26 cm (13 3/4 × 10 1/4 in.)

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Object Description

King David, believed during the Middle Ages to be the author of the Psalms, introduces the opening of the Book of Psalms in the Historical Bible . He appears holding a harp, the stringed instrument often associated with the Psalms, while a psaltery and a rebec, other medieval stringed instruments, are pictured nearby. Part of David's traditional association with musical instruments derives from a narrative in the Book of Kings, in which the priest Samuel calls upon the young David to soothe King Saul with beautiful songs.

Daily, both clergy and lay people read portions of the Book of Psalms, one of the most popular books of the Bible.