Exhibition Images » Unfinished Sketches from the Tickhill Psalter

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Unfinished Sketches
From the Tickhill Psalter
Nottinghamshire, England, after 1303–ca. 1314
12 13/16 x 8 3/4 in. (32.6 x 22.2 cm)
New York Public Library, New York, Spencer 26

The first ninety folios of this psalter offer a dazzling display of the manuscript illuminator’s art (see related image). Thereafter the book displays a startling diminution of decoration—one supposes that funds simply ran out (see related image). The result is a rare glimpse of the artist’s working process and a testimonial to the foundational role of drawing in the production of the most luxurious manuscripts. In the final illustrations of the book (see related images), we are offered the extraordinary opportunity to see the ethereal underdrawings alongside the more finished pen drawings that replace them.

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