El Greco’s progenitor does doghouse flowers

In Bone-mend and Salt, Isabella’s grandfather Pèire and her would-be protector Tómas warn her not to be like the Queen of Jerusalem.

A post from the British Library on the Egerton MS — 12th Century Crusader States Psalter—speculates that it was a gift from Fulk to his wife Melisinde after he tried to steal the Kingdom of Jerusalem from her.  So: doghouse flowers?

The figures in the gorgeous illustrations are all elongated. My seventh grade art teacher, trying to get us heathens to draw the human form, explained that humans are 7 to 7.5 heads in height, but fashion illustrators add another 1 or 0.5 head’s worth of height to a model’s legs.
Egerton Salter

These elongated figures seem to presage El Greco, who applied his own aesthetics to how the human form should appear when united with a spiritual theme. Neither artist (or workshop) seems to apply my art teacher’s math to depicting human forms.

It seems to me that the artists of this Psalter, after delivering a make-up gift to Melisinde’s straying spouse, must have sailed away to Byzantium rather than carrying their style into northern Europe. This salter looks more eastern Rome than anything that arose later in northern French, English or German illuminated manuscripts.

Art Credit: Detail of a miniature of the Deesis, from the Melisende Psalter, Eastern Mediterranean (Jerusalem), 1131-1143 – access through British Library Digitised Manuscripts at http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/FullDisplay.aspx?ref=Egerton_MS_1139

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