Cross posted from Monstrous Beauty
The Chludov Psalter is one of the few surviving 9th century Byzantine manuscripts. The early part of the 9th century was a period of iconoclasm in the Byzantine Empire. The Iconoclasm was a reaction against the use of religious images. During this period many works of art were destroyed. The Chludov Psalter was made either in secret during the Iconoclasm or after the restoration of icon, as a polemic against the Iconoclasm. In this illustration, the act of painting over an icon is paired with the Crucifixion, comparing those who destroyed icons to those who crucified Christ. To the right of the text a soldier offers Jesus a sponge filled with vinegar, while below the iconoclast Patriarch of Constantinople, John the Grammarian is seen painting over an icon of Christ using similar sponge attached to a pole. Even the pot for the the patriarch's paint is similar to the pot holding the vinegar used by the soldier.