Luttrell Psalter

England, (c. 1325-35)

  • Luttrell Psalter - Roasting meats on a spit
  • Roasting meats on a spit (folio 206v)

  • tempera colors and ink on vellum
  • full page: 14.3 x 9.6 in. (36.0 by 24.5 cm.)
  • The British Library

  • Luttrell Psalter - Carving and serving the meal
  • Carving and serving the meal (folio 207v)

  • tempera colors and ink on vellum
  • full page: 14.3 x 9.6 in. (36.0 by 24.5 cm.)
  • The British Library

  • Luttrell Psalter - The swineherd
  • The swineherd (folio 59)

  • tempera colors and ink on vellum
  • full page: 14.3 x 9.6 in. (36.0 by 24.5 cm.)
  • The British Library

  • Luttrell Psalter - Fierce boar
  • Fierce boar (folio 19v)

  • tempera colors and ink on vellum
  • full page: 14.3 x 9.6 in. (36.0 by 24.5 cm.)
  • The British Library

About the Artist

Luttrell Psalter, England, (circa 1325-35). Geoffrey Luttrell (died 1345), a wealthy landowner in Lincolnshire, commissioned the Luttrell Psalter in the early 14th Century. Intended for the Luttrell’s personal use, the beginning of the book is a picture of the Luttrell family as well as the usual collection of saints and figures from the Bible.

More importantly, in the wide margins around the edge of the finely crafted calligraphy of the Latin text are delicate decorations. Alongside the prayers and psalms are a calendar with pictorial descriptions of the village of Gerneham (present day Irnham) in Lincolnshire, Norfolk, which Geoffrey Luttrell owned, and also included are a series of pictures that illustrate everyday life on the Luttrell Estate.

These miniature marginal scenes of everyday life and strange grotesques have given historians vital information of what life must have been like for the people on that Luttrell estate in 14th century England.

These were not the first or only rural scenes to be included in psalters or books of hours. What makes the illustrations in the Luttrell Psalter so useful is that they are the most detailed and regarded by some as the best surviving pictorial documentation of everyday life that have survived from the Middle Ages.

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A random image of a pig, hog, boar or swine from the collection at Porkopolis.