Title Background

Labouring for the Lord: The Ploughman and the Social Order in the Luttrell Psalter.

Labouring for the Lord: The Ploughman and the Social Order in the Luttrell Psalter.

Incidental references to PPl in a study of the Luttrell Psalter from the perspective of the semiotics of class representation, specifically with the drawing of the plowman, driver, and team (fol. 170r) considered as a scene highly responsive to particular fourteenth-century English social experiences, though rendered neither realistically in the narrow sense nor from the peasants’ point of view. Whereas most documents mention eight beasts pulling the plow, the illustration shows four oxen only, a detail explained allegorically in C.21.261-65. The plowman as a symbol of the Good Christian is traced to such texts as Prov. 20:4, 1 Cor. 9: 10, and Isa. 28:24-29. Contrasts the drawing of the plowing scene with motto “God spede the plow” from MS. Camb. Trin. Coll. R.3.14 with the image of Gain in the Holkham Bible Picture Book, the latter as an image of the disturbance of order. The marginalia of the Luttrell Psalter are addressed to an audience of clergy and aristocracy; WL writes for a different audience, although his sympathy for the poor is balanced by an attack on society’s wasters.

Volume

Art History 10 (1987): 423-54.

Author

Camille, Michael.