The J. Paul Getty Museum

David Pointing to His Eye

Object Details


David Pointing to His Eye


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. 277v


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

See more

See less

Object Description

King David points to his eye as he addresses the Lord, pictured within a pink cloud above. Because medieval readers would have understood a direct connection between light and the sense of sight, this gesture illustrates the opening words of the text in red just below the miniature, "The Lord is my light and my salvation" (Psalm 26:1). The anonymous illuminator, known as the Master of Jean de Mandeville, concentrated the viewer's attention on the exchange between David and the Lord by isolating the figures in front of a delicately patterned background. Because medieval Christians believed David to be the author of the psalms, they found it particularly appropriate that he should be shown acting out the psalm's text.

The Psalms and Their Illustration (April 27 to July 3, 1993)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), April 27 to July 3, 1993
The Psalms and Their Illustration (February 1 to April 23, 2000)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), February 1 to April 23, 2000