New Icon in the Style of the 12th century St Albans Psalter

Here is a recently completed icon by the British icon painter Peter Murphy which caught my eye. It is an image of the three angels from the account of the Hospitality of Abraham and it is in the style of the St Alban’s Psalter. For comparison, the curious may wish to visit the Wikipedia page of the original psalter, which dates from the first part of the 12th century, is here.

I find the images in the Romanesque period psalter very interesting because stylistically they always strike me in the design of the figures and drapery as owing something to earlier Ottonian styles of art; but also some of the faces are in profile, anticipating an element of the future gothic style. Peter has captured all of this in his work very well I think.

It is good to see an artist seeking not only to reproduce works from the period that he loves, but also seeking to produce original designs in that style. Very helpfully for me, it arrived in my Inbox just as I was writing last week’s piece about how important creativity in traditional forms is if we re-establish our traditions as living traditions.

For any who wish to contact him, Peter Murphy’s email is  [email protected]

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David is an Englishman living in New Hampshire, USA. He is an artist, teacher, published writer and broadcaster who holds a permanent post as Artist-in-Residence and Lecturer in Liberal Arts at the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts. The Way of Beauty program, which is offered at TMC, focuses on the link between Catholic culture, with a special emphasis on art, and the liturgy. David was received into the Church in London in 1993. Visit the Way of Beauty blog at

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