Bernward of Hildesheim (c. 960-1022) was one of the most influential bishops of the Ottonian period. The precious objects commissioned by Bernward, spanning the arts from manuscript illumination to architecture, made Hildesheim one of the principal centres of European culture.
This psalter was written by the scribe Guntbald in a Carolingian minuscule. The decorative initials comprise golden letters with red contours inside and out. Brackets painted in silver provide variety. The letters are filled with silver tendrils, whose pointed ends, framed by two small roundels, resemble trefoils. The entrelac of the rather fleshy tendrils sometimes envelops the initials but rarely stretches any further. The backgrounds are coloured in light blue, an intense green or a light pur- ple, or else left neutral. As these characteristics are common to all manuscripts written by Guntbald, we may suppose that he was likewise responsible for the decorative initials.
This work is now in the collection of the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbüttel, Germany.