Saint-Augustine. Commentary on the Psalms I-L
Saint-Evroul, 11th - 12th cent.
165 f. 340 x 235 mm.

Bibliothèque municipale de Rouen, ms. 456 ( A 19)

The letter B placed at the beginning of the text in the first folio is one of finest creations of the scriptorium in Saint-Evroul. The scenes decorating it are taken from several episodes of the life of king David. In the centre of vertical shaft of the B, the king dressed in his royal garb and crowned, is playing the harp. At the extremities of the shaft, at the top is a character blowing a horn, and at the bottom a character brandishing a sword, accompanying him. In the upper bulge of the letter, David is fighting a lion whose jaws he is holding open; in the bottom bulge, David is confronting Goliath who is represented in the attire of a Norman warrior. The two scenes unfold in the midst of foliage fronds, in the manner of the Norman illuminators. The colours are dotted with white in the background.