Cambridge Illuminations

26 July to 11 December 2005
At Cambridge University Library and the Fitzwilliam Museum




The Macclesfield Psalter

At the Fitzwilliam Museum

The Macclesfield Psalter is an outstanding example of medieval art from East Anglia, which boasted one of the most creative schools of painting in the fourteenth century. Produced around 1330, it is at the heart of a group of East Anglian manuscripts that combine local traditions with the most innovative trends in European painting. Devotional imagery, charming glimpses of every-day life, and keen observations of nature co-exist with ribald humour, extreme human emotions and creations of the wildest imagination.

This is the most important English illuminated manuscript to be rediscovered in living memory. In addition to the Fitzwilliam Museum’s own funds and contributions from its Friends, major grants from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the National Art Collections Fund, the Cadbury Trust, and the Friends of the National Libraries, and generous donations from the public in response to the appeal launched by the National Art Collections Fund secured the future of the Macclesfield Psalter in a public institution in this country and in the region where it was produced seven centuries ago.