22 October 2018

Utrecht Psalter returns to England

Until Tuesday 19 February the exhibition Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War is on display in the British Library in London. The Utrecht Psalter, the most valuable piece in the collection of Utrecht University Library, is also part of this exhibition.

Germanic tribes

In the fifth century Germanic tribes crossed the sea to Britain. Several Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were founded which battled for supremacy. Over the centuries a (more or less) united kingdom emerged which ended with the victory of William the Conqueror in 1066.

Anglo-Saxon treasures

From this period many treasures have survived, not only weapons and everyday objects, but also a number of manuscripts telling the story of the Anglo-Saxons. All these treasures are on display in the exhibition in the British Library, which got a five-star review in The Guardian.

 

Utrecht Psalter style

For the first time since 1873 the Psalter is back in England. In that year the British government commissioned the first fotographic facsimile of the manuscript.

The Utrecht Psalter was probably made between 820 and 830  near Reims in France. In the last decades of the tenth century, so at the end of the Anglo-Saxon period, it ended up in England where it not only greatly influenced the decoration of manuscripts but also other art forms. There is even a name for it: the Utrecht Psalter style.

Night for alumni

On 20 November a special night is organised in the British Library for Utrecht University alumni living in the United Kingdom. Utrecht University curator Bart Jaski will share his extensive knowledge of this remarkable manuscript.