(b. ca. 1330, Valenciennes, d. 1402, Bourges)

Psalter of the Duc de Berry

c. 1386
Manuscript (Ms. français 13091)
Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris

The miniature representing King David is from the Psalter of the Duc de Berry.

A particularly interesting fact about the Duc de Berry's Psalter is that the twenty-four miniatures representing apostles, evangelists and prophets were painted by one of the well-known sculptors of the period, the Fleming André Beauneveu. Beauneveu had previously been in the service of Charles V and executed the royal tombs being erected in the Abbey of Saint Denis. Contemporary sources also refer to his work as a sculptor in Flanders. From 1386 onwards he worked for the Duc de Berry and painted the miniatures of the Psalter in the years before his death. In the inventory of the Duke's manuscripts, made in 1402, Beauneveu's name appears as the painter of these miniatures. The figures, monumental in appearance despite their small size, are all painted in grisaille against coloured backgrounds, and are markedly plastic in character. The illustration represents King David in three-quarters profile, seated on a great throne in the Gothic architectural style. The throne fills most of the space and sets off to perfection the poetic figure of the aged king playing on the lute.