"The British Library is showcasing its treasure trove of illuminated manuscripts collected by the kings and queens of England between the 9th and 16th Centuries - from King Athelstan to Henry VIII."
These manuscripts are so well preserved. The artists used animal skins so they are still in very good condition and the colors are bright even after centuries.
I did take issue with some of lead curator Scot McKendrick's commentary. He compares two psalters, one with an illustration of King David, who wrote many of the songs, or Psalms, preserved in the Old Testament, and who is also described in his youth as a harpist. One of the psalters features a beautiful picture of David in the beginning of the first Psalm, "Blessed is the man / Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, / Nor stands in the path of sinners, / Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; / But his delight is in the law of the LORD, / And in His law he meditates day and night." Mr. McKendrick says that this man is David, and that is true, but it more accurately could refer to any man who finds his salvation in the law of the LORD, particularly Jesus, who was the only man who managed to perfectly delight in the law of the LORD. Every blessed man finds his identity and salvation only through Jesus, according to Christian doctrine.
When McKendrick then looks at another manuscript that features Henry VIII, he says that Henry egotistically is putting himself in David's place. While Henry was indeed flawed in many ways, he was familiar with the Psalms and knew that it would be best to represent himself to his people as a godly man, a blessed man. Another observation is that illuminated manuscripts are at least 80% about the pictures. Look at how the artist portrays Henry here. He is gnomish, scholarly, at rest; hardly the regal figure David is in the other manuscript--perhaps, the artist might be saying, not all that blessed after all.