The Paris Psalter
The Paris Psalter is a luxurious imperial codex of the Psalms created in the tenth century. It is 10-1/2” x 14-1/2” with 449 folios (898 pages) and is thought to have been created at the request of Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos, an emperor of the Byzantine Empire.
What makes the Paris Psalter the most famous illustrated codex in Byzantine art is “its large size, high quality of script and text decoration, and magnificent full-page illustrations, fourteen in all,” says the website Byzantine Legacy. Most of the illustrations are scenes from the life of David, who wrote many of the psalms.
The Paris Psalter was acquired by the French ambassador in Constantinople in the sixteenth century and is now in the National Library of France and can be viewed on the Library’s website. Put your curser on the “view” icon on the left and click on the bottom icon in the window that opens to see the entire psalter as thumbnails.