The signifiers of the demonic in the Queen Mary Psalter, Ms 2 B VII

Judova, Jevgenija (2013) The signifiers of the demonic in the Queen Mary Psalter, Ms 2 B VII. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
[thumbnail of 2014Judovamphil.pdf] PDF
Download (9MB)
Printed Thesis Information:


This thesis argues that the Devil is identified not so much on the basis of Biblical narrative or theological inference as by signifiers of the demonic, which are shaped by custom, popular beliefs, existing visual culture, artistic imagination, and patron’s wishes. I will show this by analysing the imagery of the Fall of the Angels, the Fall of Man, and the Temptation of Christ in the Queen Mary Psalter. These three narratives were chosen because, in them, the Devil’s appearance undergoes a metamorphosis. In the Fall of the Angels the Devil changes from angel to demon; in the Fall of Man, the snake is the Devil. And in the Temptation of Christ, the growing frustration of the Devil, at his inability to tempt Christ, is shown by transforming the Devil’s appearance in every temptation scene. It is in the process of change that it is easiest to understand what visual signifiers are used to identify the demonic. Another reason for this choice of narratives is that they are all well-known, and thus many depictions of them are available. More importantly, they all have different origins: The Fall of Lucifer does not appear in the Bible; it was created primarily in Apocryphal texts. The Fall of Man is an Old Testament tale that was often interpreted by theologians, and the Temptation of the Christ is a New Testament story, yet there are two different versions of it in the Bible. Thus, the narratives selected provide a wide scope of potential sources. Each of the three chapters of this thesis looks at one of the narratives by examining its biblical origin, theological and popular interpretations, the representation in the Queen Mary Psalter, and the depictions in other visual material.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Devil, medieval art, medieval theology, popular theology, signifiers of monstrosity, Bible
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > Theology and Religious Studies
Supervisor's Name: Adam, Dr. Andrew and Strickland, Dr. Debra
Date of Award: 2013
Depositing User: Miss Jevgenija Judova
Unique ID: glathesis:2013-5052
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 01 May 2014 13:22
Last Modified: 01 May 2014 15:42

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year