Illumination of Balkan manuscripts

Towards the Study of the Psalter NBKM 13 from the Manuscript Collection of the National Library in Sofia

  • Summary/Abstract

    The illumination of numerous Balkan manuscripts of the sixteenth century has not been carefully described or studied. Among them is the Psalter NBKM 13, the data about which is re-considered in this paper and some previously unnoticed facts are brought forward. After the detailed analysis of the ornaments, put in the context of the illuminated manuscripts of the well-known copyist priest Ioan (John) of Kratovo, the author offers the hypothesis that the original part of the psalter was written and embellished by another scribe from Kratovo – priest Lazar. His manuscripts known so far include a Miscellany of 1564 (CIAI 1521), comprising the only preserved copy of the Vita of St Nicholas the New of Sofia, compiled by Matthew the Grammarian, a December Menaion of 1571 (GIM Khlud. 148), and a Prologue for June-December of 1572 (HAZU III c 14). This way not only the importance of priest Lazar in the literary life of the epoch was confirmed, but a new witness to the prestigious character of Kratovo Literary School has been presented.

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