Monday, May 4, 2009

Psalter of Cristoforo Orimina

The liturgical psalter illuminated by Cristoforo Orimina is online with E-Codices, Virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland The manuscript is Genève, Bibliothèque de Genève, Comites Latentes 15. Shown here is fol. 29r. Orimina was a court painter during the reigns of Robert of Anjou and Giovanna I and probably completed this manuscript some time between 1335 and 1350 for the house of Agnes de Périgord  (1305–1345), the widow of Robert’s youngest brother, John of Gravina, duke of Durazzo. The arms at the center bottom show those of Talleyrand-Périgord and of Armagnac. The manuscript shows the clear influence of Roberto di Oderisio, responsible for the frescoes in Sta. Maria Incoronata. According to some scholarship it reflects the influence of Franciscan ascetics at the Angevin court. Perhaps, but the manuscript is also replete with delightful marginal images of people at sport and play, making music, dancing, showing off the latest fashions, and in general demonstrating the love of life for which Naples and its court were well known in the mid-fourteenth century.

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