Inspired by the Luttrell Psalter

The Luttrell Psalter is a large-format illustrated book – a one-off – commissioned by the wealthy English Luttrell family in the late Middle Ages.

Composite image by John-Paul Flintoff
Click to enlarge.

As well as containing the biblical psalms, the Luttrell Psalter was decorated with floral embellishments around the capital letters and a wide variety of marginal images showing everyday life from that period.

This post is part of a series, introducing my book Psalms for the City.
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When it first came to people’s attention, after a long period in obscurity, it was recognised as a rich source of insight into the way people lived.

For a very long time, I’ve been grabbed by the idea of a modern version.

The picture above is a composite, a digital collage by me. I took a screenshot on Google Street View of a road near my home, drew on top of it an image from the Bible, of Abraham sacrificing his son Isaac, and inserted that blended image into the space within a large illuminated capital from the Luttrell Psalter.

I went on to draw a number of other biblical images onto screenshots from Street View. Here they are, in approximate biblical order (not the order I drew them).

What Next?

I’m starting a new series of collaborative livestreams combining video, audio, illustration and storytelling. A kind of show-and-tell, in which a whole new piece of work is created.

In this series of livestreams, I will be “walking” around places of interest using Google Street View, as I did in my month-long 2021 Desktop Pilgrimage (London to Canterbury, despite lockdown).

I’ll be doing it in company with others (as we did then). I hope these will include artists, storytellers, local experts – and you.

I recorded a practice livestream on YouTube to show what might typically be involved. It was 30 minutes, which I’ve cut down here to just three:

Click to play the video

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