Psalter of Henry the Lion, Helmarshausen, about or after 1168

London, British Library, Lansdowne MS 381, fol. 8r

The German Benedictine Abbey Helmarshausen, well-known for its metal- and goldsmith’s art since the beginning of the 12th century and famous for the great Gospel book of Henry the Lion, created for his new cathedral at Braunschweig in 1188, had quite a number of excellent manuscripts produced in its scriptorium during the 12th century. Duke Henry the Lion (ca. 1130-1195) from the famous lineage of the Guelphs, protector and patron of the Abbey from 1152 onwards, supported and sponsored the scriptorium by ordering prestigious works for official use as well as manuscripts of private nature. This is most obvious in his little Psalter from which our miniature of “Christ’s Presentation in the Temple“ is taken.