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Masters, anonymous, and monogrammists familylocked

  • Hans M. Schmidt,
  • Carl Van de Velde,
  • Monika Dachs,
  • Catherine Reynolds,
  • Ellen Konowitz,
  • Dan Ewing,
  • Santiago Alcolea Blanch,
  • Jane L. Carroll,
  • Hans J. Van Miegroet,
  • Bodo Brinkmann,
  • Milvia Bollati,
  • Hans Georg Gmelin,
  • J. R. L. Highfield,
  • H. B. J. Maginnis,
  • Holm Bevers,
  • Nigel J. Morgan,
  • Klaus Niehr,
  • Cornelia Syre,
  • Antonia Boström,
  • Keith Christiansen,
  • Angelo Tartuferi,
  • Bert Cardon,
  • Thierry Bajou,
  • Jay A. Levenson,
  • Béatrice Hernad,
  • Gabriele Bartz,
  • Patrick M. de Winter,
  • Brigitte Corley,
  • Domenico G. Firmani,
  • Marta Galicki,
  • J. P. Filedt Kok,
  • Jetty E. van der Sterre,
  • Susie Nash,
  • James Snyder,
  • Robert G. Calkins,
  • Mathieu Hériard Dubreuil,
  • S. Moralejo,
  • Laurie G. Winters,
  • Andrew Ladis,
  • Brigitte Herrbach,
  • Anna Padoa Rizzo,
  • Dillian Gordon,
  • Philippe Rouillard,
  • Margaret M. Manion,
  • Michael Roth,
  • Richard Harprath,
  • Thomas Tolley,
  • Maurizia Tazartes,
  • Lynette Bosch,
  • Eva Zimmermann,
  • Charles Avery,
  • Jane Campbell Hutchison,
  • Louise S. Milne,
  • Detlef Zinke,
  • C. Périer-d’Ieteren,
  • Gisela Goldberg,
  • Michael Stuhr,
  • Marco Collareta,
  • Femy Horsch,
  • Anna Nilsén,
  • Brendan Cassidy,
  • Stephen H. Goddard,
  • Jonathan L. Fairbanks,
  • David Tatham,
  • Genetta Gardner,
  • Robert Gibbs,
  • Creighton E. Gilbert,
  • Albin Rohrmoser,
  • Lothar Schultes,
  • Kay Sutton,
  • J. Steyaert,
  • Patrizia Ferretti,
  • Charles Talbot,
  • Christine van Mulders,
  • Alessandro Conti,
  • Adrian S. Hoch,
  • Thomas J. Gombar,
  • Peter Rolfe Monks,
  • Donna L. Sadler,
  • Johannes Tripps,
  • Jeremy Griffiths,
  • A. M. Roberts,
  • Sonja Weih-Krüger,
  • Jochen Luckhardt,
  • Dagoberto L. Markl,
  • Alison Luchs,
  • Anne Hagopian van Buren,
  • Wolfgang Wolters,
  • Gerhard Schmidt,
  • Ernst Schubert,
  • Cecilia Alessi,
  • M. T. Binaghi Olivari,
  • John Richards,
  • Hellmut Wohl,
  • Kristin Lohse Belkin,
  • Rowan Watson,
  • Francesca Petrucci,
  • Carrie Rebora Barratt,
  • Martha Wolff,
  • Donna T. Baker,
  • Hans Devisscher,
  • M. Smeyers,
  • Eliot W. Rowlands,
  • Federica Toniolo,
  • Ronald Baxter,
  • Claudia Rabel,
  • Serena Romano,
  • Dieter Grossmann,
  • Christian Heck,
  • Frank Dabell,
  • Amanda Simpson,
  • Luciano Bellosi,
  • Mark L. Evans,
  • Georges Dogaer,
  • Cecilia Frosinini,
  • Myra D. Orth,
  • Tilman Falk,
  • Elise L. Smith,
  • Marianne Grivel,
  • Frank Hieronymus,
  • Vincent Lieber,
  • Andrew Morrall,
  • Jane Shoaf Turner,
  • Jan Van der Stock,
  • F. Forter
  •  and Friedrich Kobler

Collective terms for artists who have not been identified with a documented, named individual, but whose oeuvre has been recognized by art historians (for discussion of anonymous Greek vase painters see Vase painters family, §II). The various sources from which their identifying names have been derived is reflected in the subdivision of the following article.

Anonymous masters (§I) covers those artists whose association with, for example, a particular work, place, or patron, or stylistic and iconographic characteristic has led art historians to refer to them by a descriptive name. These are listed alphabetically by the identifying part of the name, ignoring the preliminary ‘Master’ and intervening prepositions and articles. (Anonymous masters should not be confused with named artists with the prefixed title ‘Master’ and no surname, as in Master Bertram; for entries of the latter type see under the artist’s given name elsewhere in the dictionary.) Dated anonymous masters (§II), who are most usually named from the date of the sample work, are entered chronologically. Anonymous monogrammists (§III) are listed alphabetically by the initials of the monograms that appear on their work.

I. Anonymous masters.

Master of the Aachen Altar

  • Hans M. Schmidt

(fl c. 1485–1515).

German painter. He is named after the great winged altarpiece with scenes from the Passion (c. 1510; Aachen, Domschatzkam.), painted for the Carmelite church in Cologne. The central panel depicts an agitated Crucifixion scene in front of a broad landscape background and under a dramatic sky. On the inner sides of the wings is an Ecce homo to the left and a Lamentation to the right. Other events from the Passion appear as subsidiary scenes in the middle-ground. The strongly individualized faces, animals, plants, architecture and landscape elements create a narrative feel. The colours are richly contrasted and of sonorous tone, underscored by the bold painting style.

The Master’s paintings show a decided strength of form and expressive ability. Stange compared the intentions of his work to those of a popular preacher, while Friedländer saw parallels with the early 16th-century Antwerp Mannerists. Many influences are blended in his work: from the Master of the Holy Kinship in Cologne, in whose workshop it is likely the painter was trained, as well as from the Wesel painter Derick Baegert and Jan Joest of Kalkar. Influences from Netherlandish art (e.g. Hugo van der Goes) are also present. Rensing’s attempt to decipher the various rows of letters found in the Master’s paintings as the signature of a Cologne goldsmith is not convincing, but Anzelewsky’s suggestion that the Master of the Aachen Altar can be identified with the monogrammist §III, (see §III below) is more likely, owing to the strong similarities between their respective paintings and engravings. These indicate an early influence from the Augsburg painter Jörg Breu the elder and the workshop of the Frueauf family, particularly in the way in which the Master of the Aachen Altar creates faces and landscape forms. Dürer’s influence is also evident in the works of both artists.

Other works attributed to the Master include an altarpiece with Passion scenes, comparable to that in Aachen, painted for St Columba, Cologne (centre panel, London, N.G.; wings, Liverpool, Walker A.G.), dating from c. 1495. Two depictions of the Adoration of the Magi (Bonn, priv. col., see Rensing, p. 213, and south Germany, priv. col.), which are indebted to Hugo van der Goes, are also from this early period. On the right-hand edge of the Bonn panel is the half-length figure of a young man looking out of the picture, which is probably a self-portrait. What is probably the same figure, albeit rather older, appears in a third version of the Adoration of the Magi (c. 1505; Berlin, Gemäldegal.) and on the left wing of the Aachen altarpiece. The Master also worked as a portrait painter, as can be seen by his portrait of the merchant Johann von Melem (c. 1495; Munich, Alte Pin.). His works are orientated toward the profane, despite their religious themes, and show new, all-encompassing figure arrangements that make full use of the picture space.


  • M. J. Friedländer: Die altniederländische Malerei (Berlin, 1924–37); Eng. trans. as Early Netherlandish Painting(Leiden, 1967–76)
  • H. Kisky: ‘Der Meister des Aachener Altares’, Der Meister des Bartholomäusaltares—Der Meister des Aachener Altares: Kölner Maler der Spätgotik (exh. cat., Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Mus., 1961), pp. 44–54
  • T. Rensing: ‘Der Meister des Aachener Altares’, Wallraf-Richartz-Jb., vol.26 (1964), pp. 229–50
  • A. Stange: Die deutschen Tafelbilder vor Dürer: Kritisches Verzeichnis, vol. 1 (Munich, 1967), pp. 106–11
  • F. Anzelewsky: ‘Zum Problem des Meisters des Aachener Altars’, Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch, vol. 30 (1968), pp. 185–200
  • U. Nürnberger: ‘Bilder im Blickpunkt: Zeitenwende: Zwei Kölner Maler um 1500: 17. März bis 18. Juni 2000’, Museums-Journal, vol. 14(2) (April 2000), pp. 76–7

Master of the Abbey of Dilighem

  • Carl Van de Velde

(fl c. Antwerp, 1500–30).

Name given to the artist of a triptych of Christ in the House of Simon (Brussels, Mus. A. Anc.), formerly in the abbey of Dilighem. It now seems likely that he can be identified with Jan van Dornicke, otherwise known as Jan Mertens.

Master of Adelaide of Savoy [Master of MS. Poitiers 30]

(fl c. 1450–c. 1470).

French illuminator. He is named after his principal work, a Book of Hours (Chantilly, Mus. Condé, MS. 76) that was at one time in the possession of Marie-Adelaïde of Savoy, Duchesse de Bourgogne (1685–1712), who was the wife of Le Petit Dauphin Louis and grand-daughter-in-law of Louis XIV. The artist was a contemporary of Jean Fouquet, and the works attributed to him show that he was one of the most original illuminators active in western France during the second half of the 15th century. He was possibly trained in the Loire region and began his career in Angers. His style evolved from the complex group of manuscripts by the Master of Jouvenel des Ursins and his associates. This relationship can be seen in his earliest attributed work, Giovanni da Colonna’s Mare historiarum (Paris, Bib. N., MS. lat. 4915, fols 80–160), executed c. 1447–8 for Chancellor Guillaume Jouvenel des Ursins; in particular, his sensitive and atmospheric treatment of light is derived from the Jouvenel group. During this early period the Adelaide Master executed several miniatures in the so-called Hours of Mary Stuart (Paris, Bib. N., MS. lat. 1405), in which he collaborated with, among others, the Master of the Geneva Boccaccio.

The Master of Adelaide of Savoy is thought to have been subsequently active chiefly in Poitiers. To emphasize the artist’s connection with this town, König (1982) has renamed him the Master of MS. Poitiers 30, after a Missal for the use of Poitiers (1450–60; Poitiers, Bib. Mun., MS. 30). The two miniatures executed by the Master in this volume (fols 167v and 168r) are close in style to his other work and appear to confirm his presence in Poitiers. During this period he seems to have either collaborated on, or more likely, completed, a Book of Hours (Paris, Bib. N., MS. Rothschild 2534), in which three miniatures in the Office of the Passion (fols 124r, 126r, 132v) are by the Master of Margaret of Orleans.

The Master of Adelaide of Savoy illustrated mainly religious texts, the finest example being the Chantilly Book of Hours. His illustrations on the verso and recto of the calendar pages are especially celebrated; these depict various seasonal activities and games. An influential compositional device appears in this manuscript in the miniatures of the Offices of the Dead, whereby one scene is superimposed over a full-page illustration. This motif, possibly derived from the work of the Master of the Geneva Boccaccio, appears in the work of subsequent Poitiers illuminators in the period from 1470 to 1480. It occurs in the early works of Robinet Testard, a follower of the Master, who also adopted his decorative floral borders and flat, unmodulated use of colour. One of the few secular manuscripts illustrated by this Master is the Roman du Graal (c. 1450–?1455; Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 96). This ambitious and extensive cycle of illustrations displays the salient characteristics of his style: his attention to the atmospheric effects of light, his essentially flat and bright palette and the geometric construction of forms. Also attributed to the Master, but later in date, are nine leaves from a Book of Hours (c. 1460–?1470; Chicago, IL, Everett and Ann McNear priv. col.).


  • V. Leroquais: Les Livres d’heures manuscrits de la Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris, 1924), vol. 3, pp. 80–81
  • Y. Bouissounouse: Jeux et travaux d’après un livre d’heures du XVe siècle (Paris, 1925)
  • E. König: Französiche Buchmalerei um 1450: Der Jouvenal-Maler, der Maler des Genfer Boccaccio und die Anfänge Jean Fouquets (Berlin, 1982), pp. 33, 93, 108, 225–31, 235–7, 256, figs 6–7, 22–7
  • E. König: Les Heures de Marguerite d’Orléans (Paris, 1991), p. 101, fig.
  • Les Manuscrits à peintures en France, 1440–1520 (exh. cat. by F. Avril and N. Reynaud, Paris, Bib. N., 1993–4), pp. 123–6

Master of Afflighen Abbey.

See master of the joseph sequence below.

Master of the Aix Annunciation

(fl 1442–5).

Painter active in France. He is named after a panel of the Annunciation (Aix-en-Provence, Ste Marie-Madeleine). The painting has been connected with a series of wills executed on behalf of the draper Pierre Corpici (b ?1388; d before ?1465), an inhabitant of Aix. In the earliest surviving will, dated 9 December 1442, known only from a copy made by Henri Requin (Labande), Corpici expressed a wish to be buried in Aix Cathedral and bequeathed 100 florins to pay for an altarpiece depicting the Annunciation or the Virgin Annunciate. The painting was to have a supercelo (crowning panel) and a scabelo (predella) and bear both the Corpici arms and the sign of his shop. Although not a contract, the will is quite specific regarding the subject-matter of the altarpiece. There is no mention, however, of it being a triptych with wings nor of the name of the artist who was to execute the work. On 5 January 1443, Corpici was granted permission by the cathedral chapter to construct an altar (destr. 1618), which was located to the right of the entrance of the west choir (built c. 1285–c. 1425). A further will of 14 July 1445 reiterates Corpici’s desire to be buried in the cathedral; no reference is made to the altarpiece in this document, suggesting it was completed by this date. Further wills of 13 February 1449, 19 April 1458 and a final one of 8 November 1465 refer to the ‘altar of the Annunciation’, indicating that the altarpiece was installed by then. It has been suggested that the Aix Annunciation was originally a triptych, with Isaiah (Rotterdam, Mus. Boymans–van Beuningen) as the left wing, with St Mary Magdalene Kneeling on the reverse, and Jeremiah (Brussels, Mus. A. Anc.) as the right wing, with Christ on the reverse; a Still-Life with Books (Amsterdam, Rijksmus.) was originally at the top of the Isaiah panel. The association of these lateral panels has been disputed (Hochstetler-Meyer). By 1551 the Annunciation seems to have lost its crowning panel and predella, and in 1618 it was moved from the Corpici altar to the Espagnet family altar in the cathedral baptistery; it was transferred to the sacristy of Ste Marie-Madeleine between 1791 and 1818. Numerous attempts have been made to identify the artist of the Annunciation or determine his nationality. An early attribution was to the Neapolitan Niccolò Colantonio on the basis of the resemblance to his St Jerome in his Study Removing a Thorn from the Lion’s Paw (Naples, Capodimonte), but this has long since been discounted. The painter of the Annunciation was a near contemporary of the Master of Flémalle, Jan van Eyck, Stephan Lochner, Konrad Witz and Lukas Moser, and the painting bears a stylistic relationship with the work of these artists, for example with Witz’s SS Catherine and Mary Magdalene in a Church (Strasbourg, Mus. Oeuvre Notre Dame) and with the Annunciation (Madrid, Prado) attributed to the Master of Flémalle, although whether the relationship is due to direct influence or common prototypes is unclear. Comparisons have also been drawn with the work of the sculptor Claus Sluter, for example his Weepers from the tomb of Philip the Bold (Dijon, Mus. B.-A.) have been compared with the Prophet panels. The Annunciation is stylistically conservative, and the diversity of theories as to its origins is the result of its eclectic character. Whether the painter was Netherlandish, Burgundian, Provençal, or from further afield is a matter of conjecture. He has been tentatively identified with several artists including the Provençal Jean Chapus and three Flemish artists active in Provence: Guillaume Dombet, Arnoul de Cats [Arnolet de Catz] (fl 1430–35) and Barthélemy d’ Eyck.


  • L. H. Labande: ‘Notes sur quelques primitifs de Provence, L’Annonciation d’Aix’, Gazette des beaux-arts [suppl. is Chron. A.], n. s. 5, vol. 7 (1932), pp. 392–7
  • J. Boyer: ‘Le Maître de l’Annonciation d’Aix est-il identifié? Documents inédits sur le Maître de l’Annonciation’, Gazette des beaux-arts [suppl. is Chron. A.], n. s. 5, vol. 54 (1959), pp. 301–14
  • B. Hochstetler-Meyer: ‘A Reexamination of the Triptyque de l’Annonciation d’Aix’, Gazette des beaux-arts [suppl. is Chron. A.], n. s. 5, vol. 95 (1980), pp. 97–106
  • M. Laclotte and D. Thiébaut: L’Ecole d’Avignon (Paris, 1983), pp. 218–22
  • J. Boyer: ‘Nouveaux documents sur le triptyque de l’Annonciation d’Aix’, Gazette des beaux-arts [suppl. is Chron. A.], n. s. 5, vol. 106 (1985), pp. 189–94

Master of the Albrecht Altar

  • Monika Dachs

(fl c. 1430–50).

Austrian painter. He is named from an altar dedicated to the Virgin executed for the Carmelite church on the square ‘am Hof’ in Vienna (28 of the 32 panels survive, now at Klosterneuburg, Mus. Chorherrenstifts). The work was once thought to have been commissioned by the Holy Roman Emperor Albert II as Duke Albert V of Austria (reg 1404–39), but the removal of later paint from the outer wings revealed scenes from the history of the Carmelite Order, together with the coat of arms of Oswald Oberndorffer, a high-ranking finance official and a friend of Albert, who was clearly the real patron. The altarpiece is stylistically dated between 1438 and the early 1440s. The iconographic range of the work is especially remarkable, including scenes of the Carmelite Order on the outside and of the Life of the Virgin on either side of the (lost) shrine. On the Sunday side of the wings two rows of eight panels each have devotional pictures of the Virgin as Queen of Heaven (corresponding to the Litany of Our Lady). The stereotype arrangement of the Mother of God (always presented frontally) among the heavenly host gives a uniform effect.

A work that precedes the altarpiece stylistically is the ‘little Albrecht Altar’, of which five panels remain (Budapest, Mus. F.A.; Vienna, Belvedere; Annunciation, Berlin, Kaiser-Friedrich Mus., destr. 1945). The coats of arms in the Presentation of Christ also justify the dating of the small altarpiece before the large one, between 1435 and 1438.

There are strong allusions to local painters, such as the Master of the Presentation of Christ and the Master of the Schloss Lichtenstein, but both altarpieces show such clear references to Netherlandish painting that the painter must have travelled to the west. The Nativity on the large Albrecht Altar alludes to the Nativity (Dijon, Mus. B.-A.) by the §I, (see below), as can be seen from a comparison of the Virgin’s white garment or the shepherds in both pictures. The use of light on one of the external panels presupposes a knowledge of the most recent achievements in the Netherlands, such as the Portrait of a Woman attributed to the Master of Flémalle (London, N.G.).

See also Kaschauer, Jakob.


  • W. Suida: ‘Die Wiener Malschule von 1420 bis 1440’, Belvedere: Illustrierte Zeitschrift für Kunstsammler, vol. 8 (1925), pp. 53–8
  • O. Pächt: Österreichische Tafelmalerei der Gotik (Augsburg, 1929), pp. 13–16
  • L. Baldass: ‘Das Ende des Weichen Stils in der österreichischen Tafelmalerei’, Pantheon: Internationale Zeitschrift für Kunst [cont. as Bruckmanns Pantheon], vol. 14 (1934), pp. 378–81
  • W. Buchowiecki: ‘Der einstige Hochaltar der ehemaligen Karmeliterkirche auf dem Platz “Am Hof” in Wien’, Carmelus, vol. 3(2) (1956), pp. 243–74
  • Gotik in Österreich (exh. cat., Stein an der Donau, Minoritenkirche, 1967), pp. 73–4, 105–6
  • E. Baum: Katalog des Museums mittelalterlicher österreichischer Kunst, Unteres Belvedere, Wien (Vienna, 1971), pp. 39–40
  • B. Bonard: Der Albrechtsaltar in Klosterneuburg bei Wien: Irdisches Leben und himmlische Hierarchie—Ikonographische Studie (Munich, 1980)
  • A. Rosenauer: ‘Zum Stil des Albrechtsmeisters’, Der Albrechtsaltar und sein Meister, ed. F. Röhring (Vienna, 1981), pp. 97–122

Alexander Master [Master of the Alexander Romance]

  • Catherine Reynolds

(fl c. 1420–50).

Illuminator, active in France. He is named after the Romance of Alexander (London, BL, Royal MS 20.B.XX), which was connected by Pächt and Alexander with the miniatures in two Books of Hours of Paris Use (c. 1420–30; Oxford, Bodleian Lib., MS. Liturg. 100; and Stonyhurst, Lancs, MS. 33). All three of these manuscripts as well as others were thought by Meiss to be the later work of the §I, (see below).


  • O. Pächt and J. J. G. Alexander: Illuminated Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, vol. 1 (Oxford, 1966), p. 52, no. 663
  • M. Meiss: French Painting in the Time of Jean de Berry: The Limbourgs and their Contemporaries, 2 vols (London, 1974), esp. pp. 207–8, 390–92
  • M. Schauder: ‘Utrechter Buchmalerei in Basel zur Zeit des Konzils: Anmerkungen zur Handschrift B.1.3 der Basler Universitätsbibliothek’, Kunst + Architektur in der Schweiz, vol. 58(3) (2007), pp. 23–9

Master of Alkmaar

  • Ellen Konowitz

(fl c. 1475–c. 1515).

North Netherlandish painter. He was named after a polyptych of seven panels representing the Seven Acts of Mercy (Amsterdam, Rijksmus.), commissioned by the Confraternity of the Holy Ghost in Alkmaar for the Laurenskerk. These panels are dated 1504 and signed with a monogram. The figure types and spacious settings are similar to works by the Haarlem painter Jan Mostaert, suggesting that the Master may have been trained in Mostaert’s milieu c. 1475.

It is generally believed that the Master was Cornelis Buys the elder (fl 1490–1524), active in Alkmaar between 1490 and 1524. According to van Buchell, Buys was the first teacher of Jan van Scorel; van Mander stated that Buys was the brother of Oostsanen, Jacob Cornelisz. Van. The similarity between Jacob Cornelisz.’s monogram and the monogram appearing on the Acts of Mercy supports the identification of the Master with Buys. Another proposal, that the Master was the Haarlem painter Pieter Gerritsz., is unlikely, since Gerritsz. was probably active until 1540, and the works ascribed to the Master do not seem later than c. 1515.

The Master’s style is somewhat provincial. Figures are doll-like with simplified facial features and stiff movements. Works such as the Adoration of the Magi (Amsterdam, Rijksmus.) reveal the interest in the depiction of clearly defined space and the strong feeling for atmospheric effects of light and shadow characteristic of later Dutch painting. His portraits include those of Jan van Egmond (d 1516) and Egmond’s wife Magdalena van Waerdenburg (both New York, Met.), which should be dated after 1504 because of Jan’s aged appearance.


  • K. van Mander: Schilder-boeck ([1603]–1604), fol. 207
  • A. van Buchell: Res pictoriae, 1583–1639; ed. G. J. Hoogewerff and I. Q. van Regteren Altena (The Hague, 1928)
  • M. J. Friedländer: Die altniederländische Malerei (Berlin, 1924–37), vol. 10 (1932), pp. 33–44; Eng. trans. as Early Netherlandish Painting(Leiden, 1967–76), vol. 5, p. 96; vol. 10, pp. 24–9, passim; vol. 12, p. 83
  • G. J. Hoogewerff: De Noord-Nederlandsche schilderkunst, vol. 2 (The Hague, 1937), pp. 352–8
  • Middeleeuwse kunst der Noordelijke Nederlanden (exh. cat., Amsterdam, Rijksmus., 1958), pp. 89–90; review by K. G. Boon in Burlington Magazine, vol. 100 (1958), p. 376
  • J. Bruyn: ‘De Abdij van Egmond als opdrachtgeefster van kunstwerken in het begin van de zestiende eeuw’, Oud-Holland, vol. 81 (1966), p. 199
  • J. Snyder: Northern Renaissance Art (New York, 1985), pp. 446–8

Master of the Almshouse of the Seven Electors.

See Master of the Amsterdam Death of the Virgin below.

Master of Amiens

  • Dan Ewing

(fl c. 1515–25).

South Netherlandish or northern French painter. Friedländer in 1937 first proposed the Master as the author of three panels with Marian subjects (all Amiens, Mus. Picardie) commissioned by the Puy de Notre-Dame of Amiens in 1518, 1519, and 1520 (NS 1519–21). Around the Amiens panels he grouped three other paintings that he attributed to the artist: a Death of the Virgin (Antwerp, Mus. Mayer van den Bergh), a Virgin in the Temple (ex-P. Cassirer priv. col., Berlin, see Friedländer (1967–76), pl. 68) and a Nativity (San Francisco, CA, de Young Mem. Mus.). Foucart (see 1965 exh. cat.) noted that a fourth panel for the Amiens Puy, executed in 1521 (NS 1522) and surviving only in poor condition (Amiens, Mus. Picardie), was by the same hand.

Friedländer recognized the Master’s strong stylistic links with Antwerp Mannerism but left open the question of the artist’s origin: Antwerp, the southern Netherlands, or northern France. The Antwerp connection, and in particular the close affinity of the Amiens panels to the work of Jan de Beer, has been emphasized in the recent literature. Ewing has suggested that, prior to travelling to Amiens, the Master worked as an assistant in de Beer’s Antwerp studio. The Master’s style is characterized by brilliant chromatic juxtapositions, an exuberant playfulness and fantasy, and a flickering, nervous technique. Although only a few works are known, they reveal an artist of genuine force and originality. Of all the Late Gothic mannerist painters outside Germany, the Master of Amiens is the most mannered and his virtuosic technique one of the most daring.


  • M. J. Friedländer: Die altniederländische Malerei (Berlin 1924–37), vol. 14 (1937), pp. 123–4; Eng. trans. as Early Netherlandish Painting(Leiden, 1967–76), vol. 10, pp. 35–6, 66[complete reproductions]
  • Le XVIe Siècle européen: Peintures et dessins dans les collections publiques françaises (exh. cat., ed. M. Laclotte; Paris, Petit Pal., 1965), pp. 144–9 [entries by J. Foucart; good bibliog.]
  • M. A. Lecoq: ‘Le Puy d’Amiens de 1518: La Loi du genre et l’art du peintre’, Revue de l’art [Paris], vol. 38 (1977), pp.63–74 [hist. and iconographic study of the 1518 panel]
  • D. Ewing: The Paintings and Drawings of Jan de Beer, 2 vols (diss., Ann Arbor, U. MI, 1978), pp. 56–8, 158, 178–87
  • Y. Pinson: ‘Les “Puys d’Amiens”, 1518–1525: Problèmes d’attribution et d’évolution de la loi du genre’, Gazette des beaux-arts [suppl. is Chron. A.], n.s. 5, vol. 109 (1987), pp. 47–61 [history and purpose of Amiens Puy and the paintings; argues that only the 1518 and 1519 panels are by the Master of Amiens]

Master of Ampurias [Master of Castelló d’Empúries]

  • Santiago Alcolea Blanch

(fl second quarter of the 15th century).

Catalan painter. He is named after the altarpiece of the Archangel Michael from S Maria, Castelló d’Empúries, near Girona, of which six scenes survive (Girona, Mus. A.). His other principal surviving work is a large panel representing SS John the Baptist and Stephen (Barcelona, Mus. A. Catalunya), which formed the main section of an altarpiece, probably from the Dominican church in Puigcerdà. These works show that the Master was a representative of the final stages of the so-called International Gothic style and was particularly attracted by the problems of naturalistic interpretation. The compositions show his interest in human physiognomy, costumes and landscape. His minute attention to detail resulted, however, in a lack of integration of the different elements of the composition. He had a fine sense of colour and sound technical skill, enabling him to exploit the qualities of the tempera medium.

A chronology for the Master must be deduced from his style, which suggests that he was essentially a contemporary of Bernat Martorell and Joan Antigó. The provenances of his surviving works indicate that he belonged to the school of Girona.


  • J. Subias i Galter: Les taules gòtiques de Castelló d’Empúries (Girona, 1930)
  • C. R. Post: A History of Spanish Painting (Cambridge, MA, 1930–66), vol. 2, pp. 430–32; vol. 7, pp. 773–5
  • J. Gudiol and S. Alcolea Blanch: Pintura gótica catalana (Barcelona, 1986), p. 142, nos 430, 430 bis

Master of the Amsterdam Cabinet.

See Housebook Master below.

Master of the Amsterdam Death of the Virgin [Master of the Almshouse of the Seven Electors]

  • Jane L. Carroll

(fl c. 1500).

Netherlandish painter. He was named (by Friedländer) after a panel of the Death of the Virgin (c. 1500; Amsterdam, Rijksmus.), which portrays the Virgin and the Apostles in a complex interior space, warm and intimate in mood, and populated by small, gesturing figures with tiny hands and heads but bulky, drapery-clad torsos. Hoogewerff, however, preferred the name the Master of the Almshouse of the Seven Electors, after the institution that gave the painting to the Rijksmuseum. Hoogewerff also attributed some of the panels that Friedländer had grouped around this painter to another, shadowy artist: the Master of the Lantern. There is also disagreement over his domicile: Friedländer related him stylistically to Amsterdam, Hoogewerff to the Utrecht school of book illustrators (see Utrecht, §2). The painter’s delicate execution, minute details and enclosed settings certainly recall a miniaturist tradition. A Last Supper (Amsterdam, Rijksmus.) attributed to him closely resembles an illumination of the same subject in the Hours of Catherine of Cleves (New York, Morgan Lib. & Mus., MS. M. 917, fol. 142v), which was executed in Utrecht c. 1440. The double portrait of a Utrecht burgomaster and his wife, Dirk Borre van Amerongen and Maria van Snellenberg (Rotterdam, Mus. Boymans–van Beuningen), also suggests that the artist had ties to that city. Furthermore, his small Adoration triptych (ex-Glitza priv. col., Hamburg) includes the distinctive tower of Utrecht Cathedral in the background of the right exterior shutter.


  • M. J. Friedländer: Die altniederländische Malerei (Berlin, 1924–37); Eng. trans. as Early Netherlandish Painting(Leiden, 1967–76), vol. 10 (1973)
  • G. J. Hoogewerff: De Noord-Nederlandsche schilderkunst, vol. 1 (The Hague, 1936)
  • Middeleeuwse kunst der Noordelijke Nederlanden (exh. cat., Amsterdam, Rijksmus., 1958)

Master of the André Virgin

  • Hans J. Van Miegroet

(fl c. Bruges, 1500).

South Netherlandish painter. His name is derived from the Virgin and Child (Paris, Mus. Jacquemart-André), and this, another Virgin and Child (Scranton, PA, Everhart Mus.) and a Virgin and Child with Four Angels Standing in an Arch (Madrid, Mus. Thyssen-Bornemisza) are the only three paintings attributed to the Master. The background to the Thyssen Virgin shows Bruges, which suggests that the Master was active in that city. The obvious source for this painting is Jan van Eyck’s Virgin at the Fountain (Antwerp, Kon. Mus. S. Kst.), which is echoed in Petrus Christus’s Standing Virgin and Child (Budapest, Mus. F.A.). There are very close stylistic similarities between the work of Gerard David and the Master, and, intriguingly, the view in the Thyssen Virgin corresponds to that from David’s studio in Bruges. A similar, somewhat larger composition of the same subject as the Thyssen panel is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, an even larger copy of which was previously on the New York art market (sold Sotheby Parke Bernet, 14 December 1977, lot 155A). Ebbinge Wubben attributed the Metropolitan painting to the Master of the André Vigin, but Fahy and Van Miegroet accepted it as a late autograph work by Gerard David, dating from c. 1515–20. David’s authorship is suggested, among other things, by the delicately applied sfumato, refined modelling and the distinct porcelain-like quality of the flesh, which is not typical of the Master of the André Virgin. Furthermore, the consistency and subtlety in the use of mass and void are comparable to David’s equally late Rest on the Flight into Egypt (Washington, DC, N.G.A.).


  • M. J. Friedländer: Die altniederländische Malerei (Berlin, 1924–37); Eng. trans. as Early Netherlandish Painting(Leiden, 1967–76), vol. 9/2(1971), p. 117
  • D. De Vos: ‘Meester van de André-Madonna’, Anonieme Vlaamse primitieven (exh. cat., ed. D. De Vos and others; Bruges, Groeningemus., 1969), p. 68
  • The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Lugano, Col. Thyssen-Bornemisza cat. (Castagnola, 1969), pp. 206–7 [opinions of Ebbinge Wubben and Fahy on attribution]
  • G. Borghero: Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection: Catalogue Raisonné of the Exhibited Works of Art (Lugano and London, 1986)
  • H. J. Van Miegroet: Gerard David (Antwerp, 1989), pp. 246–54, 304

Master of Anne of Brittany.

See §I, below.

Master of the Annunciation to the Shepherds

(fl c. ? 1620–40).

? Spanish painter. He was named by Bologna in 1958 after the painting of the Annunciation to the Shepherds in the City of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. In succeeding years a large, homogeneous group of pictures, of very high quality, have been associated with this work and with a stylistically similar Annunciation to the Shepherds in the Museo e Gallerie Nazionali di Capodimonte, Naples. He was a strong and original artist who, in the 1620s and 1630s, created works whose expressive power and warm humanity find parallels in Jusepe de Ribera’s works of the same period. The Naples Annunciation to the Shepherds was probably painted in the mid-1620s; it is distinguished by the harsh realism of the figures, their clothes ragged and their skin weatherbeaten; the work conveys a sympathy with the world of the poor and the suffering. Similarities with the figures in Velázquez’s Feast of Bacchus (The Drunkards, 1628–9; Madrid, Prado) suggest that the artist may be Spanish. The impasto is rich, and the colouring sombre. Two versions of the Prodigal Son (Naples, Capodimonte) are in a similar style, while the Artist’s Studio (Paris, priv. col., see Gregori and Schleier, fig.), an extraordinary and complex allegory of the relationship of art to nature, may date from the early 1630s. In this period the Master of the Annunciation to the Shepherds dominated a vigorous naturalistic movement in Neapolitan art, to which Francesco Fracanzano and Francesco Guarino also adhered. In the mid-1630s the artist, in common with Ribera and other Neapolitan painters, began to develop a more delicate and painterly style, evident in the Adoration of the Magi (ex-Matthiessen F.A., London; see 1982 exh. cat., fig.) and the Birth of the Virgin (Castellammare di Stabia, S Maria della Pace); in both these works the elegant, graceful figures and silvery light suggest a close relationship with the art of Bernardo Cavallino. The Master also painted single figures and studies of heads, among them Girl with a Rose (Naples, De Vito priv. col., see 1982 exh. cat., fig.) and Man Reading (Lecce, Mus. Prov. Sigismondo Castromediano). Despite his undoubted and powerful influence on Neapolitan painters, the Master has hitherto resisted attempts at identification. Three names have been suggested: Bartolomeo Bassante, the painter of a signed Adoration of the Shepherds (?1640s; Madrid, Prado); Giovanni Do and Nunzio Rossi. None has been generally accepted. In the 17th century Celano described a picture of the Adoration of the Shepherds then in the church of S Giacomo degli Spagnoli, Naples, which he attributed to a Bartolomeo Bassante or Passante. A picture (untraced) of this subject, and of the same dimensions, appeared on the French art market in the mid-1980s, which may perhaps be the picture described by Celano, and which is attributed to the Master of the Annunciation to the Shepherds. It is possible to see, moreover, that the damaged signature on the Artist’s Studio begins with a B. It has been suggested (N. Spinosa, in Gregori and Schleier, p. 474) that the Master of the Annunciation may be the Bartolomeo Bassante, mentioned by Celano; he is not, however, to be confused with the artist of the same name whose signed Adoration of the Shepherds (Madrid, Prado) is in a lyrical, charming style that contrasts sharply with that of the Master of the Annunciation.


  • C. Celano: Notizie del bello, dell’antico e del curioso della città di Napoli (Naples, 1692); ed. G. Chiarini (Naples, 1856–60/R 1970), vol. 3, p. 1617
  • A. Mayer: Jusepe de Ribera (Leipzig, 1923)
  • R. Longhi: ‘I pittori dell’ realtà in Francia, overro i Caravaggeschi francesi del seicento’, Italia letteraria, vol. 11 (1935), p. 1
  • F. Bologna: Francesco Solimena (Naples, 1958)
  • R. Longhi: ‘G. B. Spinelli e i naturalisti napoletani del seicento’, Paragone, vol. 20(227) (1969), pp. 42–52
  • M. Marini: Pittori a Napoli, 1610–1656 (Rome, 1974)
  • Painting in Naples, 1606–1705: From Caravaggio to Giordano (exh. cat., ed. C. Whitfield and J. Martineau; London, RA, 1982), pp. 190–95
  • J. Neumann: ‘Unbekannte neapolitanische Gemälde im Schloss in Opoçno’, Akten des XXV. internationalen Kongresses für Kunstgeschichte: Wien, 1983, vol. 7, pp. 139–45
  • Civiltà del seicento a Napoli (exh. cat., ed. S. Cassani; Naples, Capodimonte, 1984–5), vol. 1, p. 158, 341–8
  • G. De Vito: ‘Alla ricerca del vello d’Oro (appunti di un viaggio)’, Ricerche sul ’600 napoletano, ed. R. Causa (Milan, 1986), pp. 119–58
  • M. Gregori and E. Schleier, eds: La pittura in Italia: Il seicento (Milan, 1988, rev. 1989), ii
  • N. Spinosa: ‘Qualche aggiunte e alcune precisazione per il Maestro dell’Annuncio ai Pastori’, Scritti di storia dell’arte in onore de Raffaello Causa (Naples, 1988), pp. 181–8

Master of Antoine of Burgundy [Master of the Schwarzes Gebetbuch]

  • Bodo Brinkmann

(fl c. Bruges, 1460–80)

South Netherlandish illuminator. The name was given to the painter of three manuscripts made for Antoine of Burgundy: a two-volume French translation of Valerius Maximus, Faits et dits mémorables (Berlin, Staatsbib., MS. Dep. Breslau 2), a Chronicle by Aegidius de Roya (The Hague, Rijksmus. Meermanno-Westreenianum, MS. 10.A.21), and a Livre de bonnes moeurs by Jacques le Grand (Paris, priv. col.). The artist also worked for other patrons, contributing, for example, to the illumination of a four-volume copy of Froissart’s Chronicles (Paris, Bib. N., MS fr. 2643–6) for Louis de Gruuthuse. His most beautiful work is the Schwarzes Gebetbuch (‘Black prayerbook’; Vienna, Österreich. Nbib., Cod. 1856), a Book of Hours with both the lettering and the illumination in inks and paints of gold and silver on parchment dyed black.

The style of the Master of Antoine of Burgundy is distinctive: while the interiors are depicted in a relatively conventional way, with a pronounced high viewpoint and exaggerated foreshortening, the landscape backgrounds often have convincing depth. The artist shows a complete mastery of such effects as the depiction of still water or of nocturnal scenes, but his painting is most effective in the graphic portrayal of his large figures with their mobile facial expressions. The actions and reactions of the participants are often caught with astonishing vivacity. Nonetheless the figures themselves are often somewhat wooden, with extremely long, puppet-like legs and spherical knee-joints. Tall, rounded fur hats, caps, and extremely long, pointed shoes are typical features of the costume. In many respects the style of the Master of Antoine of Burgundy is close to that of the Master of the Dresden Prayerbook. Jenni and Thoss have stressed the need for a critical review of the artist’s oeuvre; the Schwarzes Gebetbuch could provide a point of departure for this. Whether the Master of Antoine of Burgundy can be identified with Philippe de Mazerolles on the basis of this manuscript remains questionable.


  • F. Winkler: Die flämische Buchmalerei (Leipzig, 1925/R Amsterdam, 1978), pp. 79–85
  • Q. Smital: Das Schwarze Gebetbuch des Herzogs Galeazzo Maria Sforza, 2 vols (Vienna, 1930) [facs.]
  • A. De Schryver and F. Unterkircher: Gebetbuch Karls des Kühnen vel potius Stundenbuch der Maria von Burgund, Codices selecti, vol. 14 (Graz, 1969) [facs.]
  • J. Harthan: Books of Hours and their Owners (London, 1977), pp. 106–13
  • U. Jenni and D. Thoss: Das Schwarze Gebetbuch (Frankfurt am Main, 1982) [facs.]
  • G. Dogaer: Flemish Miniature Painting in the 15th and 16th Centuries (Amsterdam, 1987), pp. 120–24
  • Flämische Buchmalerei: Handschriftenschätze aus dem Burgunderreich (exh. cat. by D. Thoss, Vienna, Österreich. Nbib., 1987), pp. 48–50

Master of the Antwerp Adoration

  • Carl Van de Velde

(fl c. 1520).

South Netherlandish painter. The conventional name was given by Friedländer (1915) and derives from a triptych depicting the Adoration of the Magi (Antwerp, Kon. Mus. S. Kst.). The artist belongs to the group of the so-called Antwerp Mannerists (see Antwerp Mannerism). His oeuvre consists of small triptychs and panels, apparently for private devotion. The discovery, on the Master’s triptych of the Adoration of the Magi (Brussels, Mus. A. Anc.), of a monogram g and a presumed self-portrait, probably at the age of c. 25, has led to speculation about his identity.


  • M. J. Friedländer: ‘Die Antwerpener Manieristen von 1520’, Jahrbuch der Königlich-preussischen Kunstsammlungen [cont. as Jb. Preuss. Kstsamml.], vol. 36 (1915), pp. 65–91
  • M. J. Friedländer: Die altniederländische Malerei (Berlin, 1924–37); Eng. trans. as Early Netherlandish Painting(Leiden, 1967–76), vol. 11 (1974), pp. 26, 72
  • P. Philippot: ‘Le Monogrammiste G, Maître de l’Epiphanie d’Anvers’, Bulletin des Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, vol. 6 (1956), pp. 157–66
  • P. Vanaise: ‘Nadere identiteitsbepaling van de Meester der Antwerpse Aanbidding’ [Further information on the identification of the Master of the Antwerp Adoration], Bulletin de l’Institut royal du patrimoine artistique, vol. 1 (1958), pp. 132–45
  • P. Vanaise: ‘De hersamenstelling van een zoekgeraakte compositie van de Meester der Antwerpse Aanbidding’ [The reconstruction of a lost composition by the Master of the Antwerp Adoration], Bulletin de l’Institut royal du patrimoine artistique, vol. 2 (1959), pp. 34–40
  • Anonieme Vlaamse primitieven [Anonymous Flemish primitives] (exh. cat., ed. D. De Vos and others;, Groeningemus., 1969), pp. 156–61
  • E. De Corte: ‘Triptyque de la Passion monogrammé et daté 1527, de l’entourage du Maître de l’Adoration d’Anvers et du Maître de 1518, inspiré des cycles gravés de Dürer: Une Approche de la technique picturale’, Revue des archéologues et historiens d’art de Louvain, vol. 21 (1988), p. 230

Apocalypse Master.

See §I, .

Master of the Arcimboldi Missal

  • Milvia Bollati

(fl c. Milan, 1492).

Italian illuminator. He is named after the spendidly illuminated Missal (Milan, Bib. Capitolare, MS. X.D.I.13) that bears the coat of arms and the portrait of Guidantonio Arcimboldi, Archbishop of Milan (1489–97). The manuscript was probably donated to Arcimboldi by Ludovico Sforza (‘il Moro’), Duke of Milan; the frontispiece bears a miniature of the Duke and his court during the coronation ceremony, which took place in S Ambrogio, Milan, on 26 March 1495. The Missal must therefore have been decorated after that date, and it is attributed to a Milanese artist strongly influenced by the work of Ambrogio Bergognone and Cristoforo de Predis.

The Master of the Arcimboldi Missal is also credited with the Hours of Ascanio Sforza (Oxford, Bodleian Lib., MS. Douce 14), produced at a later date than the Milanese manuscript. Here his pictorial language has become less dry and sharp, the modelling is softer and the rendering of landscape more refined; the style partly reflects the new experience of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting. Other miniatures have been attributed to the Master, including three initials (Paris, Wildenstein Inst., 25–7), a St Stephen (London, Wallace, M. 330) and St John the Baptist (Venice, Fond. Cini, inv. 2111). Alexander identified the Master with Matteo da Milano. The Arcimboldi Missal could therefore document Matteo’s early career in Milan in the 1490s, before he is first documented in Ferrara in 1502.


  • F. Malaguzzi Valeri: Gli artisti lombardi (1917), vol. 3 of La corte di Ludovico il Moro, 3 vols (Milan, 1913–17), pp. 175–82
  • R. Cipriani: ‘Maestro del Messale Arcimboldi’, Arte lombarda dai Visconti agli Sforza (Milan, 1958), pp. 157–9
  • O. Pächt and J. J. G. Alexander: Italian School (1970), vol. 2 of Illuminated Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library Oxford (Oxford, 1966–73), p. 97
  • G. Mariani Canova: Miniature dell’Italia settentrionale nella Fondazione Giorgio Cini (Vicenza, 1978), pp. 58–9
  • J. J. G. Alexander: ‘Italian Illuminated Manuscripts in British Collections’, La miniatura italiana tra gotico e rinascimento: Atti del II congresso di storia della miniatura italiana: Cortona, 1983, vol. 1, p. 113
  • M. P. Lodigiani: ‘Per Matteo da Milano’, Arte cristiana, vol. 79 (1991), pp. 287–300
  • J. J. G. Alexander: ‘Matteo da Milano illuminator’, Pantheon: Internationale Zeitschrift für Kunst [cont. as Bruckmanns Pantheon], vol. 50 (1992), pp. 32–45
  • A. Dillon Bussi: ‘Una serie di ritratti miniati per Leone X e un poscritto di novità su matteo da Milano e sul libro in epoca leonina’, Il codice miniato laico: Rapporto tra testo e immagine, ed. M. Ceccanti (Florence, 1997), pp. 17–33
  • A. Dillon Bussi: ‘Auf den Spuren von Matteo da Milano’, Kunst und Kultur im Rom der Päpste (exh. cat., ed. P. Kruse; Bonn, Kst. & Ausstellhal., 1998–9), vol. 1, pp. 306–13
  • C. Romano: ‘L’esordio di Matteo da Milano e il Libro d’Ore Ms. Douce 14 di Oxford’, Rivista della Storia della Miniatura, vol. 8 (2003–4), pp. 145–55
  • P. Tosini: ‘Una collaborazione tra Matteo da Milano e Attavante degli Attavanti’, Rivista della Storia della Miniatura, vol. 8 (2003–4), pp. 135–44
  • F. Gualdi: ‘Novitàa per Pintoricchio, Raffaello, Amtteo da Milano per il Prognosticon Hyerosolymitanum del Nagonio e per altri codici del Rinascimento’, Commentari d’Arte, vols 9–10(24–35) (2003–6), pp. 12–37

Master of the Augsburg Visitation.

See §I, .

Master of the Augsburg Legend of St Benedict.

See Burgkmair family, §1.

Master of the Augsburg Legend of Ulrich

  • Hans Georg Gmelin

(fl c. 1450).

German painter. He is named after two cool-coloured paintings of the Legend of Ulrich (c. 1450; Augsburg, SS Ulrich and Afra). Their backs being unpainted, it is thought they were part of a wall cladding. Each shows three scenes concerning the patron saint of Augsburg: those on the first panel take place in the choir and the ambulatory sides of a large Romanesque church, which presumably is the old SS Ulrich und Afra (destr. 1474). First two angels appear to the sick Bishop Ulrich, bringing him chalice and paten; then, while he celebrates Mass before two deacons (who seem portraits), the hand of God appears to him alone. Finally he blesses throngs of the poor. The second panel is organized around two interiors with windows giving on to an intermediate landscape. On the left, the sleeping Ulrich is commanded by St Afra, the town’s other patron saint, to apply to the Emperor for consecration of the monastery. On the right, Ulrich rewards a messenger with goose-meat, which the hostile Duke Arnulf, in the centre, hopes to use as evidence of Friday fast-breaking, but as it is handed to him it turns into a fish. The Duke’s followers’ Burgundian costumes and the buildings’ pointed turrets suggest knowledge of the art of the Master of Flémalle and book illuminations influenced by him such as those by the Master of Girart de Roussillon. An Antwerp copy (New York, Met.) of a lost painting from Robert Campin’s circle indicates how the Master improved on the church’s architecture. Yet more comparable is the foreground of a Dutch painting, in the tradition of Rogier van der Weyden, of the Dream of Pope Sergius (New York, Friedsam priv. col.).

The influence of van der Weyden also appears in two later altar wings, again undated, with scenes from the Life of the Virgin (Nuremberg, Ger. Nmus.) and two Passion scenes with painted backs (Brussels, Mus. A. Anc.). The sharply etched portrait of Pius Joachim (Basle, Kstmus.) again shows Dutch influence. (An untraced frame inscription, perhaps fictitious, claimed the artist was a Basle Anabaptist.) The more restrained portrait of Hans von Rechberg zu Schramberg (d 1464; Vienna, Kstmus.) is likewise superb. In all his paintings the Master contributed a comfortable Swabian narrative tone to his Netherlandish models.


  • E. Buchner: ‘Der Meister der Ulrichslegende’, Beiträge zur Geschichte deutscher Kunst, vol. 2 (1928), pp. 7–30
  • E. Buchner: Das deutsche Bildnis der Gotik und der frühen Dürerzeit (Berlin, 1953), pp. 69ff, nos 56, 57

Master of the Augsburg Portraits of Painters.

See §III, .

Master of the Augustinian Altar

  • Hans Georg Gmelin

(fl c. 1470–87).

German painter. He is named after a picture-screen (Nuremberg, Ger. Nmus.), parts of which originate from the monastery church of the Augustinian Hermits in Nuremberg. One side shows, on four wings, eight scenes from the Legend of St Vitus; these are broken by two wings showing scenes from four other saints’ lives. Four pairs of male and female saints are painted on the reverse, and two predella covers also survive. The interpolation of subject-matter suggests a combination of two different but stylistically related altarpieces: first an altar of the Ten Thousand Martyrs or Auxiliary Saints from the Cistercian chapel of the Ebracher Hof in Nuremberg, from 1482 (hence the Cistercian coat of arms under the Vision of St Bernard); secondly an altar of St Vitus produced in 1487 for the Augustinian Hermits. These works were assembled in their present form in 1932.

Given the lack of documentary evidence, all information about the paintings is stylistic. They are not all executed by the same hand (although there is a unity of design) but are of a quality unique in Nuremberg painting of the time. Various features are adopted from the leading Nuremberg masters Hans Pleydenwurff and Michel Wolgemut. But the Master originated from the Upper Rhine area: a fragmentary panel, considered an early work (c. 1470; Berne, Kstmus.), shows the influence of Martin Schongauer in the firm figure construction, and the Nuremberg Martyrdom of St Sebastian adopts an intricately contorted nude figure from Schongauer’s engraving (b. 59). The Master must have had sufficient reputation to persuade Rueland Frueauf and his son of that name to come from Salzburg to Nuremberg to collaborate on the St Vitus altar. The signature ‘RF’ can be seen on the first scene of the legend, where St Vitus repudiates idolatry. A large Madonna of Mercy (Nuremberg, Ger. Nmus.) was also produced, with a significant contribution by Frueauf.

The Master is distinguished in the closely interwoven world of Nuremberg altar-painting because of his generous, less trivial style of depiction, with its sure grasp of material structure and the human figure. It would appear that after working as an itinerant artist, doing church commissions throughout Middle Franconia in the 1480s, the Master settled permanently in Nuremberg, founding an important workshop.


  • J. Rosenthal-Metzger: Das Augustinerkloster in Nürnberg (diss., U. Erlangen, 1930)
  • F. Lahusen: Der Hochaltar der ehemaligen Augustinerkirche S. Veit in Nürnberg (diss., U. Freiburg im Breisgau, 1957)
  • E. Pfeffer: ‘Der “Augustiner-Hochaltar” und vier weitere Nürnberger Altare des ausgehenden 15. Jahrhunderts’, Mitteilungen des Vereins für Geschichte der Stadt Nürnberg, vol. 52 (1963–4), pp. 305–98
  • A. Stange: ‘Die deutschen Tafelbilder vor Dürer’, Kritisches Verzeichnis, vol. 3, ed. P. Stricher and H. Härtle (Munich, 1980), pp. 83–8, nos 168–79, esp. no. 172

Master of Ávila

  • J. R. L. Highfield

(fl second half of the 15th century).

Spanish painter. He painted a small triptych (c. 1470–75; Madrid, Mus. Lázaro Galdiano), which shows on the interior the Nativity, the Annunciation to the Shepherds and the Magi’s Vision of the Star; on the exterior is the Annunciation. The Master of Ávila may possibly have visited the Netherlands, because the painting is an adaptation of the Middleburg triptych of the Nativity (Berlin, Gemäldegal.) attributed to Rogier van der Weyden; Netherlandish influence is also apparent in the Virgin’s draperies and the orange-yellows and reds in St Joseph’s coat, which are typical of the Master of Flémalle. The Master of Ávila also evidently painted several works for Ávila (hence his name), including a panel of the Meeting of Joachim and Anna at the Golden Gate in the north transept of S Vicente, and three panels of the Meeting at the Golden Gate, Christ among the Doctors and the Death of the Virgin in the parish church of Barco de Ávila. The Master was a technically accomplished artist, who fused virile types with a gentle and fresh way of looking at things (Post). Attempts have been made to identify him with Pedro Díaz de Oviedo (Mayer) and García de Barco (fl c. 1476; Tormo), who came from the region where the paintings were found, but neither identification has been generally accepted.


  • A. Mayer: Geschichte der spanischen Malerei (Leipzig, 2/1922)
  • E. Tormo: ‘Excursión colectiva a Arenas de San Pedro, Candelodia, Trujillo, Plasencia, Barco de Ávila y Piedrahita’, Boletín de la Sociedad española de excursiones, 36 (1928)
  • C. R. Post: A History of Spanish Paintings, vol. 4/2 (Cambridge, MA, 1933)
  • S. C. Escamilla: ‘Sobre el Maestro de Avila y el Tríptico del Nacimiento’, Goya, 319–20 (2007), pp. 299–312, 197

Master of Badia a Isola

  • H. B. J. Maginnis

(fl c. 1290–1320).

Italian painter. This anonymous artist, named after the Virgin and Child Enthroned with Two Angels in SS Salvatore e Cirino, Badia a Isola (nr Monteriggioni, Siena), is a problematic figure. At the one extreme, the Badia a Isola panel and related works have been viewed as early works by Duccio di Buoninsegna; at the other, a much expanded corpus of works for the artist has been proposed (Stubblebine). A number of critics agree in grouping a Virgin and Child (Siena, Pin. N., 593), a polyptych that once contained a St Paul, a St John the Evangelist and a St Peter (South Hadley, MA, Mount Holyoke Coll. A. Mus.), a St John the Baptist (Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Mus., 608), a Virgin and Child (Utrecht, Catharijneconvent), a Redeemer and four Angels (untraced) and a Virgin and Child Enthroned with Four Angels (Venice, Fond. Cini), but other attributions are widely debated. The painter of the Badia a Isola panel, a distinct and independent artistic personality, was conservative, blending elements from the tradition of Guido da Siena with the newer style of Duccio. His early work is markedly sculptural and spatially assertive; his later production is less so. The Badia a Isola panel is the most important of the Master’s surviving works insofar as it seems to document stylistic features of Sienese art in the 1290s that are less visible elsewhere.


  • R. van Marle: Italian Schools (1923–38), vol. 2, pp. 77–9
  • C. Brandi: Duccio (Florence, 1951), pp. 141–3
  • J. Stubblebine: Duccio di Buoninsegna and his School, vol. 2 (Princeton, 1979), pp. 75–85
  • J. White: Duccio: Tuscan Art and the Medieval Workshop (London, 1979), pp. 150–51

Master of the Balaam

  • Holm Bevers

(fl c. 1440–50).

German or Burgundian French engraver. He is named after the engraving Balaam on his Ass and the Angel (Dresden, Kupferstichkab.; Lewis, no. 1). Also attributed to him are some ten prints, each of which survives in a single example. The attribution is not certain in all cases: for example the main engraving, St Elegius in his Workshop (Amsterdam, Rijksmus.; l 16), has also been attributed to the §I, and the Master of the Gardens of Love (see below). Most of the small, often circular engravings recall niello work and may have been preparatory sketches for goldsmiths. The Master probably worked in either the Upper Rhine region or Burgundy.


  • M. Lehrs: Geschichte und kritischer Katalog des deutschen, niederländischen und französischen Kupferstichs im XV. Jahrhundert (Vienna, 1908), pp. 327–36 [l]
  • M. Geisberg: Die Anfänge des deutschen Kupferstiches und der Meister E.S., Meister der Graphik, vol. 2 (Leipzig, 1909), p. 55
  • M. Geisberg: Die Anfänge des Kupferstiches, Meister der Graphik, vol. 2 (Leipzig, 1923), pp. 60–63

Master of the Bamberg Altar

  • Nigel J. Morgan

(fl c. Nuremberg, 1420–40).

German painter. He is named after an altarpiece of Passion scenes (1429; ex-Franciscan church, Bamberg; Munich, Bayer. Nmus.) in which the style is derived from that of the Nuremberg Master of the Altarpiece of the Virgin (fl 1400–10; c. 1410; Nuremberg, Ger. Nmus.). The Master of the Bamberg Altar collaborated with the Master of the Deichsler Altarpiece in the Imhoff Altar (c. 1418–22; Nuremberg, Lorenzkirche; see §I, ). The Man of Sorrows with the Virgin and St John (Nuremberg, Ger. Nmus.) by the Master of the Bamberg Altar forms the reverse panel of the Imhoff Altar. It is a good example of his solemn style, with figure mass and simplicity of composition. Another of his paintings, the Man of Sorrows Standing with the Virgin (c. 1420; Nuremberg, Ger. Nmus.), shows his mastery of restrained presentation of a devotional subject. Like the Master of the Deichsler Altarpiece (possibly Berthold Landauer), he was strongly dependent for his facial types and figure style on Bohemian painting, particularly that of the Master of Tr̆ebon̆, though his more block-like figure forms and solidity of figure grouping contrast with the elegant, elongated figures of the Master of Tr̆ebon̆, moving further away from the International Gothic style of Prague. In his work may be traced some influence from late-14th-century north Italian painting, such as that of Altichiero.


  • A. Stange: Deutsche Malerei der Gotik, vol. 9 (Munich, 1958/R Nendeln, 1969), pp. 12–15, figs 10–17
  • A. Stange: Kritisches Verzeichnis der deutschen Tafelbilder vor Dürer, vol. 3 (Munich, 1978), pp. 30–32, nos 31–5
  • Gothic and Renaissance Art in Nuremberg 1300–1550 (exh. cat., New York, Met., 1986), nos 28, 29

Bamberg Master

  • Klaus Niehr

(fl c. 1225–37).

German sculptor and architect. Name conferred by Wilhelm Boeck on the artist in charge of work on Bamberg Cathedral in the period after 1230 (see Bamberg, §2, (ii)). It arises from the desire to attribute important works of the so-called younger sculpture workshop to a specific artist. Apart from smaller works, Boeck attributed the sculptures of the Rider, an Old Woman, the Synagogue and Eve (Bamberg, Diözmus.) to the Master. The Virgin and the general conception of the Princes’ Portal, however, should be seen as being executed to his designs in collaboration with three independent, younger sculptors and their assistants. By this theory, he would have been schooled artistically on older works in the cathedral, such as the choir-screen reliefs, and then spent time at the Reims Cathedral workshops, where he became acquainted with the assimilation of antique art, before returning to Franconia.

Boeck’s fine distinctions between the work of different sculptors, based on subtle stylistic analyses and speculative psychological intuition, have not been widely accepted. The younger workshop is seen as a centre where older and more artistically progressive craftsmen, coming especially from Reims, worked together. Apart from the stylistic distinctions, there are evident differences of quality. Models drawn from French sculpture are modified according to individual needs; the Bamberg style was especially derived from the sculptures in the north transept at Reims. It is possible that only one sculptor mediated these forms, but there seems to be little point in isolating the contributions of particular artists as it is impossible to form a definite judgement on the degree of specialization and cooperation within the Bamberg workshop. The chronology of the building of Bamberg Cathedral and the dating of the works at Reims can hardly be reconciled by current research; this suggests that the Bamberg sculptures should be dated from c. 1225 to the consecration of the cathedral in 1237.


  • W. Boeck: Der Bamberger Meister (Tübingen, 1960)
  • W. Sauerländer: ‘Reims und Bamberg: Zu Art und Umfang der Übernahmen’, Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte [merger of Z. Bild. Kst with Repert. Kstwiss. & with Jb. Kstwiss.], vol. 39 (1976), pp. 167–92
  • R. Fueillets: enluminés insérés dans un livre d’heures de Bibliothèque municipale de Grenoble: MS 650 ‘Die Bamberger Domskulpturen: Technik, Blockbehandlung, Ansichtigkeit und die Einbeziehung des Betrachters’, Münchner Jahrbuch der bildenden Kunst, n. s. 3, vol. 38 (1987), pp. 27–82
  • H.-C. Feldmann: Bamberg und Reims: Die Skulpturen, 1220–1250 (Ammersbeck bei Hamburg, 1992)
  • M. Schuller: Das Fürstenportal des Bamberger Domes (Bamberg, 1993)

Master of the Bambino Vispo [Master of the Lively Child]

  • Cornelia Syre

(fl Florence, early 15th century).

Italian painter, possibly identified as Gherardo Starnina. Sirén (1904) assembled a group of paintings under the name the Master of the Bambino Vispo. These included the Virgin and Child with Saints and Angels (Florence, Accad.), the Virgin of Humility (Philadelphia, PA, Mus. A.), a triptych of the Virgin and Child with Music-making Angels and Four Saints (Rome, Pal. Doria-Pamphili), and an altarpiece wing with SS Mary Magdalene and Lawrence and a Cardinal Donor (Berlin, Bodemus.). He chose the name on account of the particularly lively expression and movement of the Christ Child in the paintings. He associated the altar wing with a documented altarpiece of St Lawrence, which, it was then believed, had been donated to Florence Cathedral by Cardinal Pietro Corsini in 1422. This date provided the starting-point from which to relate the Master to other 15th-century Florentine painters. Sirén believed the painter to be a distant follower of Lorenzo Monaco and noted his apparent interest in the psychology of the figures as well as a marked sense for the decorative that set him apart from his contemporaries. The Master was accepted by art historians, but Sirén’s attempts to identify the painter with Pietro di Domenico da Montepulciano or Parri Spinelli were not seriously pursued. The question was raised as to whether the Master’s obvious indebtedness to the Late Gothic style could be explained solely by the influence of Lorenzo Monaco, or whether it might result from direct contact with the centres of Late Gothic painting, particularly Valencia.

Pudelko (1938) attempted to chart the Master’s stylistic development. He pointed to the close thematic and stylistic similarities between the Last Judgement (Munich, Alte Pin.), attributed to the Master, and early 15th-century Valencian painting, such as the retable of the Crucifixion and Stories of the True Cross attributed to the Gil Master and Bonifacio Ferrer’s retable of the Crucifixion, Conversion of St Paul and Baptism (both Valencia, Mus. B.A.). Pudelko concluded that the Last Judgement was painted c. 1415 in Valencia. This would suggest that the Master was in Valencia before 1422, the date previously proposed for the St Lawrence altarpiece. While there, he was deeply influenced by the Late Gothic style before becoming the most important representative of this style in Florence, together with Lorenzo Monaco. Pudelko believed that the St Lawrence altarpiece reveals how the Master subsequently evolved a more grandiose style, under the influence of Gentile da Fabriano, that later declined into meaningless mannerisms, as in another triptych of the Virgin and Child with Music-making Angels and Four Saints (U. Würzburg, Wagner-Mus.). This development was generally accepted, although scholars could not agree on the Master’s identity nor his exact connection with Spanish painting. Longhi ascribed to the Master several Valencian paintings that previously had constituted the oeuvre of the Gil Master (named after an altarpiece donated by Vicente Gil; fragments in New York, Met.; New York, Hisp. Soc. America) and suggested that they had been painted in Spain. Nevertheless, Longhi insisted on the Tuscan, or specifically Florentine, origins of the artist.

De Saralegui suggested that the Gil Master could be identified with the Valencian Miguel Alcanyis, and at this stage the problem of the identity of the Master of the Bambino Vispo appeared to be resolved. However, Alcanyis is documented in Barcelona, Valencia, and Mallorca between 1415 and 1447, and Oertel saw no specific connection between the Master’s work and Spanish painting and, like Sirén, regarded him as a pupil of Lorenzo Monaco.

Berti and Bellosi noticed the striking similarities between the work of the Master of the Bambino Vispo and that of Starnina, and this prompted van Waadenoijen and Syre to claim the Master and Starnina as the same person. The premise for this identification was new evidence that the St Lawrence altarpiece could be dated much earlier than had previously been supposed. It was proved that it was donated by Cardinal Angelo Acciauoli (1349–1408) to a chapel in the Certosa del Galluzzo, near Florence (not by Cardinal Corsini to the Cathedral in 1422). Consequently, the altarpiece was painted in 1404–7 and the oeuvre of the Master has to be dated considerably earlier than had previously been assumed. Van Waadenoijen and Syre attempted to integrate the works of the Master into the documented oeuvre of Starnina and to establish a chronology. This led to a complete reassessment of the Master’s style. His indebtedness to Late Gothic style was no longer regarded as retardataire; instead it corresponded to the most advanced artistic currents of the early 15th century. Both scholars believe that not all the works attributed to the Master of the Bambino Vispo are by Starnina: some should be ascribed to his followers and members of his workshop, or even to other masters. The connection with Valencian painting could be explained by the fact that Starnina is documented in Valencia. In general, scholars have accepted van Waadenoijen’s and Syre’s theory. Boskovits, however, believed the Master to be Miguel Alcanyis, who, he suggested, worked with Starnina in Spain and subsequently followed his master to Florence.


  • O. Sirén: ‘Di alcuni pittori fiorentini che subirono l’influenza di Lorenzo Monaco: Il Maestro del Vispo Bambino’, L’Arte, vol. 7 (1904), pp. 349–52
  • O. Sirén: ‘Florentiner Trecentozeichnungen’, Jahrbuch der preussischen Kunstsammlungen [prev. pubd as Jb. Kön.-Preuss. Kstsamml.], vol. 27 (1906), pp. 208–23
  • O. Sirén: ‘A Late Gothic Poet of Line’, Burlington Magazine, vol. 24 (1913–14), pp. 323–30; vol. 25 (1914), pp. 15–24
  • G. Pudelko: ‘The Maestro del Bambino Vispo’, Art in America [cont. as A. America & Elsewhere; A. America], vol. 26 (1938), pp. 47–63
  • R. Longhi: ‘Fatti di Masolino e di Masaccio’, Critica d’arte, vol. 5 (1940), pp. 145–91 (183–5)
  • L. de Saralegui: ‘Comentarios sobre algunos pintores y pinturas de Valencia’, Archivo español de arte [prev. pubd as Archv Esp. A. & Arqueol.], vol. 26 (1953), pp. 237–52
  • L. Berti: Masaccio (Milan, 1964), pp. 137–8, n. 152
  • R. Oertel: ‘Der Laurentius-Altar aus dem Florentiner Dom: Zu einem Werk des Maestro del Bambino Vispo’, Studien zur toskanischen Kunst, Festschrift für L. H. Heydenreich (Munich, 1964), pp. 205–20
  • L. Bellosi: ‘La mostra di affreschi staccati al Forte Belvedere’, Paragone, vol. 17(201) (1966), pp. 73–9
  • J. van Waadenoijen: ‘Proposal for Starnina: Exit the Maestro del Bambino Vispo?’, Burlington Magazine, vol. 116 (1974), pp. 82–91
  • M. Boskovits: ‘Il Maestro del Bambino Vispo: Gherardo Starnina o Miguel Alcañiz?’, Paragone, vol. 26(307) (1975), pp. 3–15
  • F. S. Santoro: ‘Sul soggiorno di Gherardo Starnina e sull’identità del “Maestro del Bambino vispo”’, Prospettiva, vol. 52 (1976), pp. 11–29
  • C. Syre: Studien zum ‘Maestro del Bambino Vispo’ und Starnina (diss., U. Bonn, 1979)
  • J. van Waadenoijen: Starnina e il gotico internazionale a Firenze (Florence, 1983)
  • E. Callmann: ‘Painting in Masaccio’s Florence’, The Cambridge Companion to Masaccio, ed. D. Cole Ahl (Cambridge, 2002), pp. 64–86
  • A. Bernacchioni: ‘Riflessioni e proposte sulla committenza di Gherardo Starnina, pittore di guelfismo fiorentino’, Intorno a Lorenzo Monaco: Nuovi studi sulla pittura tardogotica, ed. D. Parenti (Livorno, 2007), pp. 44–55

Master with the Banderoles

  • Holm Bevers

(fl c. 1450–75).

North Netherlandish engraver. He is named after a group of engravings that incorporate long banderoles (speech banners) with Latin captions. Because three scenes from the story of the Creation (Lehrs, 1921, nos 1–3) have inscriptions in Dutch, he is thought to have worked in the northern Netherlands, perhaps Geldern or Overijssel. About 130 engravings are attributed to him. They are engraved in a crude, mechanical way; the draughtsmanship is weak and clumsy. Most of them are large-format, broadsheet-style engravings of religious and secular subjects. Unparalleled in north European engravings are the large allegorical pictures with explanatory inscriptions, such as the Redemption of the World through Christ’s Death on the Cross (l 85). Some of these engravings are based on Italian models, so it is possible that the Master visited Italy. His oeuvre consists largely of copies and compilations from the work of other engravers (e.g. the Master of the Playing Cards, the Master E.S.) and of reproductions of early panel paintings from the Netherlands (the Master of Flémalle, Rogier van der Weyden) and Germany (Stefan Lochner).


  • M. Lehrs: Der Meister mit den Bandrollen: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des ältesten Kupferstiches in Deutschland (Dresden, 1886)
  • M. Lehrs: Geschichte und kritischer Katalog des deutschen, niederländischen und französischen Kupferstichs im XV. Jahrhundert, vol. 4 (Vienna, 1921), pp. 1–164 [l]
  • M. Geisberg: Die Anfänge des Kupferstiches, Meister der Graphik, vol. 2 (Leipzig, 1923), pp. 74–7
  • Fifteenth-century Engravings of Northern Europe from the National Gallery of Art (exh. cat., ed. by A. Shestack; Washington, DC, N.G.A., 1967–8), nos 29, 30
  • A. I. Lockhart: ‘Four Engravings by the Master with the Banderoles’, Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art, vol. 60 (1973), pp. 247–55
  • M. Hébert: Bibliothèque Nationale, Département des Gravures: Inventaire des gravures des écoles du Nord 1440–1550, vol. 1 (Paris, 1982), pp. 175–6

Master of Banyoles [Sp. Bañolas].

See Antigó, Joan.

Master of the Barbarigo Reliefs

  • Antonia Boström

(fl c. 1486–c. 1515).

Italian sculptor. He is named after the three bronze reliefs of the Coronation of the Virgin, the Assumption of the Virgin and the Twelve Apostles (Venice, Ca’ d’Oro) that formerly decorated the altar donated by the Barbarigo family for a double tomb in the church of S Maria della Carità in Venice (now the Galleria dell’Accademia). Other fragments surviving from the tombs (dismantled 1808) include a marble kneeling effigy of Doge Agostino Barbarigo (Venice, ante-sacristy of S Maria della Salute) and a limestone relief of the Resurrection (Venice, Scu. Grande S Giovanni Evangelista). The Barbarigo tomb is recorded in an engraving of 1692 (Venice, Correr, Raccolta Ghesso, iii, no. 435), which shows that the reliefs decorated the altar of the central barrel-vaulted bay, flanked on either side by the kneeling figures of Marco Barbarigo and Agostino Barbarigo. In each adjacent bay was a reclining effigy on a bier supported by a console. Documentary evidence suggests that work on the tombs began c. 1486, the date of Doge Marco Barbarigo’s death, and that the reliefs were completed by 1515.

The attribution of these bronze reliefs has caused much scholarly discussion. Leo Planiscig (1921) coined the anonymous sculptor’s present title, suggesting that he may be identified with Tullio Lombardo. Other suggestions have included Alessandro Leopardi (Paoletti, 1893), Antonio Lombardo (Bode, 1907), and Paolo di Matteo Savin (Pope-Hennessy, 1963). The present consensus is that the reliefs are probably the work of a sculptor working within the circle of Antonio Lombardo and Tullio Lombardo. The classicizing modelling of the figures and draperies and the distinctive punching of the grounds of these reliefs have been recognized in a number of other anonymous works, including a bronze half-length relief of Christ Blessing, a relief of Cupid (both Berlin, Skulpgal.), a bronze statuette of Charity (Vienna, Ksthist. Mus.), and a St Jerome (Brescia, Mus. Civ. Crist.), all of which bear similarities of facture and modelling.


  • P. Paoletti: L’archittetura e la scultura del rinascimento in Venezia (Venice, 1893), pp. 184–5
  • W. Bode: The Italian Bronze Statuettes of the Renaissance (English edn 1907, rev. New York, 1980)
  • L. Planiscig: Venezianische Bildhauer der Renaissance (Vienna, 1921), pp. 209–15
  • E. F. Bange: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin: Die italianischen Bronzen der Renaissance und des Barock, vol. 2 (Berlin and Leipzig, 1922), pp. 4–5; cat. nos 23–5
  • G. Fogolari, U. Nebbia, and V. Moschini: La R. Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca’ d’Oro (Venice, 1929), p. 148
  • Italian Bronze Statuettes (exh. cat., ed. J. Pope-Hennessy; London, V&A, and elsewhere, 1961), cat. nos 91–2
  • J. Pope-Hennessy: ‘An Exhibition of Italian Bronze Statuettes—I’, Burlington Magazine, vol. 105 (1963), pp. 14–23
  • A. Markham Schulz: ‘Pietro Lombardo’s Barbarigo Tomb in the Venetian Church of S Maria della Carità’, Art the Ape of Nature: Studies in Honour of H. W. Janson, ed. M. Barasch and L. Freeman Sandler (New York, 1981), pp. 171–92

Master of the Barberini Panels

  • Keith Christiansen

(fl c. 1445–75).

Italian painter. The two eponymous works (New York, Met.; Boston, MA, Mus. F.A.) were painted in Urbino, whence they were removed to Rome by Cardinal Antonio Barberini (see Barberini family, §4) in 1631. The pictures, which have been the subject of much debate and speculation, are exceptional both for their ambitious architectural settings and their genre-like treatment of narrative. It is now generally conceded that they represent, in a highly unorthodox fashion, the Birth of the Virgin and the Presentation of the Virgin; that the elaborate architecture, with its wealth of Classical allusion, reflects the influence of Alberti; and that their author was either trained or deeply influenced by Fra Filippo Lippi in Florence c. 1445–50 and then fell under the spell of Piero della Francesca, aspects of whose palette and figure types he imitated in a superficial fashion. Other works attributed to the artist include, in their presumed order of execution, an Annunciation (Washington, DC, N.G.A.), a second Annunciation (Munich, Alte Pin.), a Crucifixion (Venice, Fond. Cini), three related panels with saints (Milan, Brera and Pin. Ambrosiana; Loreto, Santa Casa), and a painted alcove (Urbino, Pal. Ducale). The Annunciation in Munich bears the arms of the French banker Jacques Coeur and was probably painted in Florence during the financier’s trip to Italy in 1448. The alcove has, on the basis of its armorial devices, been dated after 1474, but this is by no means certain. It does, however, establish that the artist was employed by Federigo II, Duke of Urbino. The Barberini panels have been presumed to have decorated the Palazzo Ducale; this is unlikely since the panels are not mentioned in any inventory or description of the palace. They have also been supposed, almost certainly incorrectly, to have formed part of a larger series dealing with the Life of the Virgin, but the Presentation of the Virgin panel includes subsidiary representations of the Annunciation and the Visitation, thereby eliminating these two crucial scenes from any hypothetical series.

Alternatively, it has been suggested that one or both of the Barberini panels formed part of an altarpiece of the Birth of the Virgin commissioned in 1467 from Fra Carnevale for the church of S Maria della Bella in Urbino. Vasari mentioned the altarpiece in his life of Bramante, and it was later confiscated by Cardinal Antonio Barberini. Surprisingly, the identification has been dismissed, despite the fact that both panels are attributed to Fra Carnevale in a 1644 inventory of Barberini’s possessions. Even more surprisingly, Zeri’s identification of the Master of the Barberini Panels with Giovanni Angelo di Antonio da Camerino (fl 1451–61) has been widely accepted, despite the fact that Giovanni’s activity as a painter is completely undocumented. Identifications of the anonymous master with Bramante and with Alberti have been rightly dismissed.


  • R. Offner: ‘The Barberini Panels and their Painter’, Mediaeval Studies in Memory of A. Kingsley Porter (Cambridge, MA, 1939), pp. 205–53
  • F. Zeri: Due dipinti, la filologia e un nome: Il Maestro delle Tavole Barberini (Turin, 1961)
  • K. Christiansen: ‘For Fra Carnevale’, Apollo, vol. 109 (1979), pp. 198–201
  • M. Strauss: The Master of the Barberini Panels: Fra Carnevale (diss., New York U., 1979)
  • Urbino e le Marche prima e dopo Raffaello (exh. cat., ed. M. G. Ciardi Duprè dal Poggetto and P. dal Poggetto; Urbino, Pal. Ducale, 1983), pp. 43–55
  • P. Dal Poggetto: ‘Il “maestro delle tavole Barberini”: Che era costui?’, Piero e Urbino, Piero e le corti rinascimentali, ed. P. Dal Poggetto (Venice, 1992), pp. 301–17
  • C. Gilbert: ‘The Function of the Barberini Panels: Addenda’, Critica d’arte, n. s. 8, vol. 63(6) (2000), pp. 24–30
  • B. Cleri, ed.: Bartolomeo Corradini (Fra’ Carnevale) nella cultura urbinate del XV secolo. Atti del convegno: Urbino, 2002 (Urbino, 2004), pp. 205–14
  • A. Bruschi: ‘Bramante, il suo maestro Fra Carnevale e il modello dell’Arco degli Argentari al Velabro’, Saggi in onore di Gaetano Miarelli Mariani, ed. M. P. Sette (Rome, 2007), pp. 109–18

Master of the Bardi St Francis

  • Angelo Tartuferi

(fl c. Florence, 1225–50).

Italian painter. Garrison was the first to attribute a group of works to the author of the large panel on the altar of the Capella Bardi, Santa Croce, Florence, representing St Francis and 20 Scenes from his Legend. He included a Crucifix (Florence, Uffizi, 434) in this group and identified these paintings (previously thought to belong to the Lucca school) as Florentine in origin and showing signs of contact with the Bigallo Master. Prehn (1976) noted that two distinct painters worked on the St Francis panel, a fact that was more obvious after restoration, and that neither of them could be identified with the painter of the Crucifix. Boskovits, however, defined the principal Master of the Bardi St Francis as a precursor of Coppo di Marcovaldo, who, during the first half of the 13th century, moved away from the figurative tradition of painting in Lucca and developed a style characterized by the description of form through strongly marked patterns of light and dark. According to Boskovits, Coppo could have been one of the assistants who painted the scenes beneath the figure of the saint in the Santa Croce panel. The impressive painting of a Virgin and Child Enthroned, with Scenes from the Virgin’s Life (Moscow, Pushkin Mus. F.A.) also has obvious stylistic and compositional affinities with the Santa Croce panel.


  • E. B. Garrison: Italian Romanesque Panel Painting: An Illustrated Index (Florence, 1949), p. 12
  • C. L. Ragghianti: Pittura del Dugento a Firenze (Florence, 1955), pp. 36–40
  • E. T. Prehn: A 13th Century Crucifix in the Uffizi and the Maestro del San Francesco Bardi (Edinburgh, 1958)
  • M. Boskovits: Cimabue e i precursori di Giotto: Affreschi, mosaici e tavole (Florence, 1976)
  • E. T. Prehn: Aspetti della pittura medioevale toscana (Florence, 1976), pp. 39–55
  • A. Tartuferi: ‘Pittura fiorentina del duecento’, La pittura in Italia: Le origini, ed. E. Castelnuovo (Milan, 1985, rev. in 2 vols, 1986), pp. 267, 270–71

Master of the Baroncelli Portraits

  • Hans J. Van Miegroet

(fl Bruges, c. 1489).

South Netherlandish painter. He is named from double portraits (Florence, Uffizi), identified by Warburg in 1902 as Pierantonio Bandini Baroncelli, successor of Tommaso Portinari of the Medici bank in Bruges, and his wife Maria Bonciani. The Master was a contemporary of both the Master of the Legend of St Lucy and the Master of the Legend of St Ursula (i) and worked in a style close to that of Hans Memling and rather reminiscent of that of Petrus Christus. His manner is dry and rather austere, with static figures painted under harsh lighting. The rest of the Master’s small oeuvre is grouped around this portrait pair and a Female Saint (?Joan of Valois) with a Donor and Two Women (U. London, Courtauld Inst. Gals). The donor in the latter may be Giacomo di Giovanni d’Antonio Loiani of Bologna, who married a Flemish woman. A panel with the Annunciation (Antwerp, Kon. Mus. S. Kst.), attributed by Hulin de Loo to the Master of the Baroncelli Portraits and comparable to a similar Annunciation (Brussels, Mus. Royaux A. & Hist.), has now been given to an anonymous master of c. 1500.


  • A. Warburg: ‘Flandrische Kunst und florentinische Frührenaissance’, Jahrbuch der Königlich-preussischen Kunstsammlungen [cont. as Jb. Preuss. Kstsamml.], vol. 23 (1902), pp. 247–66
  • G. Hulin de Loo and E. Michel: Les Peintures primitives du XIVe, XVe et XVIe siècles de la collection Renders à Bruges (Bruges, 1927)
  • P. Murray: Catalogue of the Lee Collection: Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London (London, 1958, rev. 1962), pp. 14–15
  • D. De Vos and J. Vervaet: ‘Meester van de Baroncelli Portretten’, Anonieme Vlaamse primitieven (exh. cat., Bruges, Groeningemus., 1969), pp. 56–7, 210–11
  • M. J. Friedländer: Early Netherlandish (1967–76), vol. 6/1 (1971), p. 62; vol. 6/2(1971), p. 123
  • P. Vandenbroeck: Catalogus schilderijen 14e en 15e eeuw, Antwerp, Kon. Mus. S. Kst. cat. (Antwerp, 1985), pp. 12–14

Bartholomew Master.

See §I, .

Master of the Beaufort Saints

  • Bert Cardon

(fl c. 1400–10).

Illuminator, active in the southern Netherlands. He is named after a series of remarkable miniatures with hagiographic scenes in the Beaufort Hours (London, BL, Royal MS. 2. A. XVIII), in which Herman Scheerre painted an Annunciation, accompanied by his motto. The Master of the Beaufort Saints also illuminated another Book of Hours with Scheerre (Oxford, Bodleian Lib., MS. lat. liturg. f.2), which suggests that they worked in the same workshop. His style is quite different from that of Scheerre, however, but it fits in directly with south Netherlandish miniature painting and also shows an affinity with the work of Melchior Broederlam. It seems likely, therefore, that the Master was of south Netherlandish origin. Apart from blue, red and pink, his lively palette includes contrasting colours, for example deep red and yellow or yellow and green. The compositions are dynamic, with powerful, divergent lines, and the faces are well modelled, usually with special accents on the nose and at the corners of the mouth. This style recurs in a number of manuscripts, including a Missal in Antwerp (Mus. Plantin–Moretus, MS. 15.8/192), a Book of Hours in London (BL, Add. MS. 18213; with Flemish rubrics), a Psalter in Le Mans (Bib. Mun., MS. B. 249) and a Book of Hours at Stonyhurst, Lancs (MS. 70). It was once thought that he visited England and illuminated Books of Hours for English patrons; however, more recent research has shown that he probably did not leave the Netherlands but that his miniatures were sent to England to be incorporated in manuscripts. Later, he worked with the §I, .


  • B. Cardon: ‘The Illustrations and the Gold Scrolls Group’, Typologische taferelen uit het leven van Jezus [Typological scenes from the life of Jesus]: A Manuscript from the Gold Scrolls Group (Bruges, c. 1440) in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, MS. Morgan 649, Corpus van Verluchte Handschriften uit de Nederlanden [Corpus of illuminated manuscripts from the Low Countries], vol. 1 (Leuven, 1985), pp. 157–61
  • B. Cardon: Vlaamse miniaturen voor van Eyck: Catalogus, Corpus van Verluchte Handschriften uit de Nederlanden, vol. 6 (Leuven, 1993), pp. 40–48, nos 14, 15
  • K. Smeyers and S. Vertongen: ‘De Meester van Beaufortheiligen en de Brugse miniatuurkunst’, Boeken in de late Mideleeuwen: Verslag van de Groningse Codicologendagen, 1992, ed. J. M. M. de Hermans and K. van der Hoek (Groningen, 1994)

Bedford Master [Master of the Bedford Hours; Master of the Breviary of the Duke of Bedford]

(fl c. 1405–65).

Illuminator or workshop of illuminators and painters.

1. History of the attributions.

The name was first proposed in 1914 by Winkler for the artist responsible for illuminating a Breviary and a Book of Hours for John of Lancaster, Duke of Bedford, English Regent in France from 1422 to 1435. The Book of Hours (London, BL, Add. MS. 18850) with portraits of the Duke and his wife, Anne of Burgundy, who were married in 1423, was presented to King Henry VI of England in 1430. The unfinished Bedford or, from its liturgical use, Salisbury Breviary (Paris, Bib. N., MS. lat. 17294) was begun c. 1424 (the start of the tables for computing Easter) and was still in progress in 1433, the year of the Duke’s marriage to Jacquetta of Luxembourg, whose arms appear in the manuscript. These and a third manuscript, wrongly identified as a Pontifical (destr. 1871 but published in the mid-19th century, e.g. Vallet de Viriville, 1866), are all richly illuminated in a similar style and all bear or bore the Duke’s arms, badges and mottoes.

Around these three manuscripts Durrieu (1904; 1905–29) assembled an earlier and a later group of illuminations in this style. The earlier group included miniatures in Jean, Duc de Berry’s Grandes Heures, completed in 1409 (Paris, Bib. N., MS. lat. 919); the Térence des Ducs (Paris, Bib. Arsenal, MS. 664) owned by the Dauphin Louis, Duc de Guyenne, at his death in 1415; a Bible bought by John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, in 1415 (Brussels, Bib. Royale Albert 1er, MSS 9024–5); and the undated but related Livre de chasse by Gaston de Foix (Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 616). He associated these works with the painter Haincelin de Hagenau, recorded in Paris from 1403 to 1415 working for the Queen, Isabella of Bavaria, Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, and Louis, Duc de Guyenne. The group of later works he associated with one Jean Haincelin, documented as an illuminator in Paris between 1448 and 1450. Winkler proposed a Master of the Duke of Bedford as an artist distinct from Durrieu’s Haincelin de Hagenau and responsible only for the middle-period manuscripts, but as the name gained currency, receiving formal recognition in Ring’s corpus of 15th-century French painting (1944), the limits of Winkler’s definition became blurred.

The early group of manuscripts was attributed to a separate artist by Spencer, who, while stressing the collaborative nature of book illumination, used the identification of individual hands to divide the later oeuvre into different phases of a continuous workshop history. In her reconstruction, the Bedford Master himself was active c. 1415–30; his work is first discernible in the Breviary made for a Dauphin of France, probably Louis de Guyenne and thus pre-1415 (Châteauroux, Bib. Mun., MS. 2); he painted the best miniatures in the Bedford Hours, the related earlier Lamoignon Hours (Lisbon, Mus. Gulbenkian, MS. L.A. 237) and Vienna Hours (Vienna, Österreich. Nbib., Cod. 1855), the later Sobieski Hours (Windsor Castle, Royal Lib.), and the first phase of the Salisbury Breviary. He gradually gave way to his ‘Chief Associate’ who ran the workshop until its final productions, such as the L’Arbre des batailles (1460; Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 1276), the Guerres puniques (1457–61; Paris, Bib. Arsenal, MS. 5086), and the Cas des nobles hommes et femmes (1465; Chantilly, Mus. Condé, MS. 401).

Other scholars (e.g. Byrne) have accepted the idea of the ‘Chief Associate’ to cover the later work. The earliest group of manuscripts was examined by Meiss, who discerned an embodiment of the style from which the Bedford Master developed and so ascribed them to a ‘Bedford Trend’. Their overall decoration has yet to be analysed to see if a more precise relationship can be established with the Bedford workshop of c. 1415–65. Attempts are thus being made to reconstruct the long history of the workshop responsible for the Bedford manuscripts, even though it is impossible to disentangle the work of a single Bedford Master from its finished products.

2. Workshop style and practice.

The distinctive style of the Bedford Hours and the major part of the Salisbury Breviary is that of a painter rather than a draughtsman. Forms are established through colour, line being used to reinforce or clarify where necessary, as in the small border medallions. Women, angels, and youths are more elegant than the squatter male figures, which have wide faces and bulbous noses. Compositions are often highly complex, as with the multi-scene narratives of the Breviary, where careful design and colour patterning ensure that meaning is not submerged in anecdote. Over the years, compositions were simplified and detail was eliminated, the loss in surface pattern not usually being counterbalanced by a gain in three-dimensional illusion. Execution became increasingly summary, so that what had been a careful layering and juxtaposition of paint degenerated into a blurry indistinctness. Colour moved from light, bright greens, blues, and oranges to duller pink-reds and heavy combinations of brown and gold.

An examination of the subsidiary decoration of the Bedford Hours, the Salisbury Breviary and many other manuscripts with miniatures in the Bedford style shows that they are the products of a continuous workshop rather than a series of independent painters. The calligraphy of the borders allows for attributions to separate hands in a way not possible with the miniatures: the same border illuminator can be found in the Salisbury Breviary, the Missal of the Bishops of Paris (Paris, Bib. Arsenal, MS. 621), and the Sobieski Hours; another can be traced in later sections of the Salisbury Breviary, the Dunois Hours (London, BL, Yates Thompson MS. 3), the Coëtivy Hours (1443–4; Dublin, Chester Beatty Lib., MS. W. 82), an unfinished Bible (Paris, Bib. N., MSS fr. 20065–6), and other Books of Hours (e.g. Oxford, Keble Coll. Lib., MS. 39). The persistence of workshop patterns, particularly illustrations for the Hours of the Virgin, further supports the idea of a central workshop, where personnel might change but the stock of designs was carefully preserved. As an example, the mis-spelling peur for puer natus est on the angel’s scroll in the Annunciation to the Shepherds is faithfully repeated from the Lamoignon to the Coëtivy Hours and in at least four other instances. Although the workshop produced at least one panel painting, the Last Judgement (Paris, Mus. A. Déc.), it seems to have excelled at illumination, exploiting to the full the illustrative potential of texts and the challenge of integrating word and image—both formally, as in the elimination of the borders to the miniatures in the Sobieski Hours, and in significance, as in the Salisbury Breviary border medallions, where each is based on a quotation from the text of the Office. Its artists also borrowed extensively from the Boucicaut Master and the de Limbourg brothers and from Netherlandish types originated by the Master of Flémalle, Rogier van der Weyden, and Jan van Eyck.

Several distinct stylistic groups have been separated from the label of the Bedford Master: those of the Master of the Munich Golden Legend, the Master of Jean Rolin II, and the Master of the Salisbury Breviary St Stephen. The Bedford workshop not only influenced such painters, with whom it shared commissions, but also provided the patterns of layout and compositions adopted by the Master of Jouvenal des Ursins and his circle. Through the Master of Jean Rolin II, if such an individual can be identified, the Bedford workshop is directly linked to Maître François, whose style dominated Parisian illumination into the last decade of the 15th century.

3. Localizing the workshop.
  • Catherine Reynolds

The early manuscripts of the ‘Bedford Trend’ group seem to have been made in Paris, the trading centre for illuminated manuscripts and other luxuries. Throughout the history of the style, the Use of Paris overwhelmingly predominates in liturgical manuscripts, and, apart from the Duke of Bedford’s commissions and a Book of Hours of Sarum Use (sold London, Sotheby’s, 21 June 1988, lot 99), the workshop does not appear to have exploited the English market or to have had firm ties with any French provincial centre. While anyone might have turned to Paris for a book, the political divisions within France make the allegiance of its clients important evidence for the workshop’s history. Unfortunately, the patrons of many manuscripts are unknown or uncertain, as is the case with the series of large Hours including the Vienna Hours and the Lamoignon Hours, both of which predate the Treaty of Troyes (1420), which made Paris the capital of English France. The Bedford Hours may have been begun for another, unidentified, patron, but their completion for the Duke and Duchess of Bedford and the Duke’s commissioning of the Breviary and so-called Pontifical show the workshop’s acceptance of English rule.

The workshop’s decoration of the Missal of the Bishops of Paris, begun for Jacques du Châtelier, bishop from 1427 to 1438, when Paris was under English rule, and completed for the French-appointed Denis du Moulin (reg 1439–47), suggests that its artists remained in the capital and returned to French allegiance at the surrender of Paris in 1436. The workshop subsequently made Books of Hours for Bedford’s military opponent Jean, Comte de Dunois (London, BL, Yates Thompson MS. 3), as well as Dunois’s companion in arms, the Admiral Prigent Coëtivy, de family (c. 1443–4; Dublin, Chester Beatty Lib., MS. W. 82).

The influence of Bedford workshop layouts and compositions has been noted to the south and west of Paris, particularly in Poitiers; if this influence is the result of direct contact, it was most likely during the extremely hard years of the later 1430s that the workshop was driven from the capital. If this was the case, the evidence of liturgical books c. 1440–60 and the Paris colophon of the L’Arbre des batailles of 1460 suggests that the illuminators returned to contribute to Paris’s revival.

Several manuscripts were illuminated by the workshop over considerable periods: perhaps 15 years for the so-called Pontifical, 10 to 15 years for the Missal of the Bishops of Paris, some 20 years for the unfinished Bible (Paris, Bib. N., MSS fr. 20065–6) and approaching 40 years for the Salisbury Breviary. The considerable capital tied up in these undertakings suggests that the financer of the workshop was acting as a book producer rather than simply as an illuminator. It is perhaps in such a figure that a single Bedford Master could best be sought.


  • G. de Bure: Catalogue des livres de la bibliothèque de feu M. le duc de la Vallière, 9 vols (Paris, 1783)
  • R. Gough: An Account of a Rich Illuminated Missal Executed for John, Duke of Bedford (London, 1794)
  • Vallet de Viriville: ‘Notice de quelques manuscrits précieux’, Gazette des beaux-arts [suppl. is Chron. A.], vol. 20 (1866), pp. 255–85, 453–65; vol. 21(1866), pp. 471–87
  • P. Durrieu: La Peinture à l’exposition des primitifs français (Paris, 1904), pp. 72–3
  • A. Michel, ed.: Histoire de l’art (Paris, 1905–29), vol. 3, pp. 165–6; vol. 4, pp. 706–8[articles by P. Durrieu]
  • F. Winkler: ‘Zur Pariser Miniaturamalerei im dritten und vierten Jahrzehnt des 15. Jahrhundert’, Beiträge zur Forschung: Studien und Mitteilungen aus dem Antiquariat Jacques Rosenthal, vols 4–5 (1914), pp. 114–20
  • G. Ring: A Century of French Painting (London, 1944), nos 76–9
  • E. Trenkler: Livre d’heures, Vienne, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek cod. 1855 (Vienna, 1948)
  • J. Porcher: French Miniatures from Illuminated Manuscripts (London, 1960), pp. 67–8
  • E. Spencer: ‘L’Horloge de sapience’, Scriptorium, vol. 17(2) (1963), pp. 607–12
  • K. Perls: ‘Le Tableau de la famille des Juvenal des Ursins au Louvre: Le Maître du duc de Bedford et Haincelin de Hagenau’, Revue de l’art ancien et moderne, vol. 68 (1965), pp. 173–80
  • E. Spencer: ‘Gerson, Ciboule and the Bedford Master’s Shop’, Scriptorium, vol. 19(1) (1965), pp. 104–8
  • E. Spencer: ‘The Master of the Duke of Bedford: The Bedford Hours’, Burlington Magazine, vol. 107 (1965), pp. 495–502
  • E. Spencer: ‘The Master of the Duke of Bedford: The Salisbury Breviary’, Burlington Magazine, vol. 119 (1966), pp. 607–12
  • M. Meiss: French Painting in the Time of Jean de Berry: The Late 14th Century and the Patronage of the Duke (New York, 1967)
  • M. Meiss: French Painting in the Time of Jean de Berry: The Boucicaut Master (New York, 1968)
  • A. von Eeuw and J. Plotzek: Die Handschriften der Sammlung Ludwig (Cologne, 1971–85), vol. 2, pp. 103–14; vol. 4, pp. 235–6
  • M. Meiss: The de Lévis Hours (New Haven, 1972)
  • D. Byrne: ‘The Hours of Admiral Prigent de Coëtivy’, Scriptorium, vol. 27(2) (1974), pp. 248–61
  • M. Meiss: French Painting in the Time of Jean de Berry: The Limbourgs and their Contemporaries (New York, 1974), pp. 363–8
  • E. Spencer: The Sobieski Hours: A Manuscript at Windsor Castle, Roxburghe Club, 239 (London, 1977)
  • J. Backhouse: ‘A Re-appraisal of the Bedford Hours’, BL J., vol. 7 (1981), pp. 47–61
  • E. König: Die französische Buchmalerei um 1450: Der Jouvenal Maler, der Maler des Genfer Boccaccio und die Anfänge Jean Fouquets (Berlin, 1982)
  • The Last Flowering: French Painting in Manuscripts 1420–1530 from American Collections (exh. cat. by J. Plummer, New York, Pierpont Morgan Lib., 1982)
  • J. Marrow: ‘Miniatures inédites de Jean Fouquet: Les Heures de Simon de Varie’, Revue de l’art, vol. 67 (1985), pp. 7–35
  • C. de Hamel: A History of Illuminated Manuscripts (Oxford, 1986), pp. 173, 176, 178–9, 182
  • C. Reynolds: The Salisbury Breviary, Paris, BN, MS. lat. 17294, and Some Related Manuscripts (diss., U. London, 1986)
  • C. Sterling: La Peinture médiévale à Paris, 1300–1500 (Paris, 1987), pp. 419–60
  • C. Reynolds and J. Stratford: ‘Le Manuscrit dit “Le pontifical de Poitiers”’, Revue de l’art, vol. 84 (1989), pp. 61–80
  • J. Backhouse: The Bedford Hours (London, 1990)

Master of the Béguins [Maître aux Béguins]

  • Thierry Bajou

(fl c. 1650–70).

Painter, active in Paris. The pictures now given to this artist were formerly attributed to the Le Nain brothers. In 1922 Jamot pointed out the differences of inspiration and style, compared with the work of the Le Nain, of a number of works now classed under this heading. It was left to Thuillier (see exh. cat.) to isolate a distinct artistic personality and body of work, which he collected under the name of the ‘Maître aux Béguins’, a reference to the type of peasant bonnet (béguin) worn by many of the female figures in these paintings. The 20 or so pictures attributed to this Master, which to judge by their often prestigious provenance were highly prized in the 17th century and the 18th, are almost all outdoor rustic genre scenes. They include Peasants by a Drinking Trough (versions Paris, Louvre; U. Glasgow, Hunterian A.G.), Mother Nursing her Child during the Grape Harvest (Cleveland, OH, Mus. A.), Peasant Family with a Ram (Princeton U., NJ, A. Mus.), and Village Scene (Moscow, Pushkin Mus. F.A.). The compositions of these works are somewhat repetitive: the figures are usually grouped before a fragment of rustic architecture, with a glimpse of landscape beyond. These backgrounds give little sense of depth or reality. The figures are scrupulously delineated, but their expressions are stereotyped. The greater emphasis is placed on the picturesque description of costume and accessories. The latter, composed of dishes, pots, baskets, or fruit and vegetables, often form still-life compositions in the foregrounds. A painting of Charity (New York, Met.), with stylistic and formal affinities to the foregoing paintings inspired by the Le Nain, presents a different type of subject-matter, perhaps derived from a theatrical performance, since the male figure in this obscure scene has the air of a portrait. It would seem to indicate that this Master may have tackled a wider variety of subjects. The realism of the figural and still-life elements and the heaviness of the features of many of the figures suggest that the Master of the Béguins was a Flemish painter who took up the type of painting made fashionable by the Le Nain. Martin has identified him with Abraham Willemsens (fl 1627–72) by means of comparison with a signed genre scene (sold London, Christie’s, 19 April 1991, lot 90).


  • P. Jamot: ‘Sur les frères Le Nain, II: Essai de classement de l’oeuvre des Le Nain’, Gazette des beaux-arts [suppl. is Chron. A.], n. s. 4, vol. 5 (1922), pp. 293–308
  • Les Frères Le Nain (exh. cat. by J. Thuillier, Paris, Grand Pal., 1978), pp. 318–29, nos 69–77
  • L. G. Martin: ‘The Maître aux Béguins: A Proposed Identification’, Apollo, vol. 133 (1991), pp. 113–14

Master of the Beheading of St John the Baptist

  • Jay A. Levenson

(fl ?Milan, c. 1500–c. 1525).

Italian engraver. Galichon first assembled the small oeuvre of this Master by attributing five engravings, previously ascribed to several different printmakers, to the author of the Beheading of St John the Baptist. Four of these engravings form a clearly unified group and are certainly the work of one hand.

Little of substance is known about the Master, although his connections with Milanese art are evident, making it reasonable to assume that he was active in Milan. The most ambitious of his engravings, Allegorical Theme: Combat of Animals, is related to a pen drawing of Animals Fighting and a Man with a Burning Glass (Paris, Louvre) by Leonardo da Vinci, which is assignable to the first of Leonardo’s two Milanese periods (c. 1483–99), probably to the early 1490s. The portions of the engraving that are not based directly on the Louvre drawing are related to other works by Leonardo. Scholars have also noted that the figure and drapery style of the Beheading of St John the Baptist are comparable to works by Marco d’Oggiono, one of Leonardo’s Milanese followers, although the other engravings by the Master are not as close to d’Oggiono’s style.

The Master’s manner of engraving reflects the stippling technique developed by Giulio Campagnola to achieve a soft, tonal quality in his prints, evident in his Doe Resting and Stag Browsing. It has been proposed that the Master was also influenced by Andrea Mantegna and that he was responsible for two engravings of the Man of Sorrows and Hercules and the Hydra now assigned to Mantegna’s school, although these attributions have been disputed.


  • E. Galichon: ‘De quelques estampes milanaises’, Gazette des beaux-arts [suppl. is Chron. A.], vol. 18 (1865), pp. 546–52
  • A. M. Hind: Early Italian Engraving: A Critical Catalogue (London, 1938–48), vol. 5, pp. 97–9
  • J. A. Levenson, K. Oberhuber, and J. L. Sheehan: Early Italian Engravings from the National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC, 1973), pp. 437–8
  • M. J. Zucker: The Early Italian Masters, Commentary (1984), 25 [XIII/ii] of The Illustrated Bartsch, ed. W. Strauss (New York, 1978–), pp. 108–10, 123–4

Bellaert Master.

See §I, .

Master of the Berlin Passion

  • Béatrice Hernad

(fl late 15th century).

German or Netherlandish engraver. He was named (Lehrs, 1889) after a Passion cycle of nine engravings, of which seven were glued in a manuscript (1482; Berlin, Kupferstichkab.) from the Lower Rhine, written in the convent of the Sisters of the Common Life at Arnheim. His long-standing identification (Geisberg, 1903) as Israhel van Meckenem (i) (see Meckenem family, §1) has been questioned by the claims that his centre of activity was the Limbourg area (Marrow, 1978) and that he was Dutch, not German (Hollstein: Dut. & Flem.; Robels in 1970 exh. cat.).

To the 117 engravings attributed to the Master (see Lehrs, 1915; Hollstein: Dut. & Flem.) should be added the Mass of St Gregory (c. 1465; Lehrs, 1934, no. 346) and St Barbara (Lehrs, 1934, no. 388), both previously attributed to Israhel van Meckenem (ii). The Master’s early cycle of the Life of Christ (l 14–25) was copied many times, proving the popularity that the engraver enjoyed. The Hortus conclusus (l 37), the Master’s largest surviving engraving, together with the animal figures and decorative engravings (l 82–117) created to serve as models in the workshops of painters, miniaturists, and goldsmiths, forms part of the artist’s late work; he had by this stage reached the climax of a technique that also links him in part to the Master of the Playing Cards.

The Master of the Berlin Passion’s role in the region of the Lower Rhine was comparable to that of the Master E.S., and his works were copied by engravers who were perhaps members of the same shop—the Master with the Flower Borders, the Master of St Erasmus, the Master of the Dutuit Mount of Olives, and the Master of the Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand (all of whom fl mid-15th century)—as well as by the Master with the Banderoles and Israhel van Meckenem (ii). His draughtsmanship is of a quality lower than that of the Master E.S., but the modelling is extremely delicate, and his skill as a goldsmith is evident in the decoration in his ornamental works, among the earliest of their kind. His engravings, often of modest dimensions and hand-coloured, were certainly intended for the most part to be affixed in manuscripts.


  • M. Lehrs: ‘Der deutsche und niederländische Kupferstich des fünfzehnten Jahrhunderts in den kleineren Sammlungen’, Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft [prev. pubd as Jb. Kstwiss. [1868–1873]; merged with Jb. Kstwiss. [1923–30] & Z. Bild. Kst to form Z. Kstgesch.], vol. 11 (1889), pt I, pp. 47–56; pt II, pp. 213–39
  • M. Geisberg: Der Meister der Berliner Passion und Israhel van Meckenem: Studien zur Geschichte der westfälischen Kupferstecher im 15. Jahrhundert, vol. 42 of Studien zur deutschen Kunstgeschichte (Strasbourg, 1903/R Nendeln, Liechtenstein, 1979)
  • M. Lehrs: Geschichte und kritischer Katalog des deutschen, niederländischen und französischen Kupferstichs im 15. Jahrhundert, vol. 3 (Vienna, 1915) [l]; vol. 9 (Vienna, 1934)
  • Herbst des Mittelalters: Spätgotik in Köln und am Niederrhein (exh. cat., Cologne, Kstver., 1970), pp. 144–50, nos 336–67 [entries by H. Robels]
  • J. Marrow: ‘A Book of Hours from the Circle of the Master of the Berlin Passion: Notes on the Relationship between Fifteenth-century Manuscript Illumination and Printmaking in the Rhenish Lowlands’, Art Bulletin, vol. 60(4) (1978), pp. 590–616

Master of the Berlin St Jerome.

See under Gasparo Padovano.

Master of the Berlin Sketchbook

  • Jane L. Carroll

(fl second quarter of the 16th century).

Painter and draughtsman, active in the northern Netherlands and Germany. He takes his name from an unpublished sketchbook of 48 folios (Berlin, Kupferstichkab., 75C 2a/119), which can be dated c. 1523–6 on the basis of inscriptions and sketches recording two dated paintings by Jacob Cornelisz. van Oostsanen. Jacob’s panels, the Virgin and Child (1526; Stuttgart, Staatsgal.) and the All Saints (1523; Kassel, Schloss Wilhelmshöhe), are copied with a degree of care that suggests that the artist of the sketchbook, presumably an assistant in Jacob’s Amsterdam studio, produced it as a means of preserving motifs and compositions by his master.

The Master’s idiosyncratic style is characterized by nervous lines and dainty forms. The figures have egg-shaped faces, as befits the inheritor of the tradition of Geertgen tot Sint Jans and Jacob Cornelisz. Their features are tiny, and the fluttering hands are impossibly small, even for these ethereal bodies. Heads tilt at a slight angle, creating a wistful expression and making the start of the S-curve that dominates their pose. These and other stylistic features enable other works to be attributed to the Master, among them an Annunciation (Indianapolis, IN, Mus. A.) and the Portrait of a Scholar (Antwerp, Kon. Mus. S. Kst.). Three other panels once formed a tiny Marian triptych: the Coronation of the Virgin (ex-Sotheby Mak van Waay, Amsterdam), which would have been flanked by the Virgin on the Crescent Moon (Strasbourg, Mus. B.-A.) and the Virgin and Child with St Anne (ex-David Carritt, London).

All the paintings assigned to the Master are executed on pine, a type of wood never used in the Netherlands in the early 16th century but popular in Germany. This support suggests that the Master returned or moved to a German city on leaving Jacob’s studio. The delicacy and precision of his style points to either Cologne or the Lower Rhine as his Teutonic home. His art, which spans the transition from a Late Gothic aesthetic to early Mannerism, also helps to establish artistic links between Germany and the Netherlands in the 16th century.


  • K. Steinbart: ‘Nachlese im Werk des Jacob Cornelisz. von Amsterdam’, Marburger Jahrbuch für Kunstwissenschaft, vol. 5 (1929), pp. 213–60 [repr. of those fols that copy Jacob’s works]
  • J. L. Carroll: The Paintings of Jacob Cornelisz. van Oostsanen, 1472?–1533 (diss., Chapel Hill, U. NC, 1986)

Berner Nelkenmeister.

See §I, .

Master of the Berne St John Altarpiece.

See under §I, .

Master of the Berry Apocalypse [Apocalypse Master]

  • Gabriele Bartz

(fl c. 1408–20).

French illuminator. He is named after an Apocalypse in French (New York, Morgan Lib. & Mus., MS. M. 133), his finest work. The manuscript belonged to Jean, Duc de Berry, as shown by his ex libris on fol. 87v, but it does not appear in any of the inventories of the ducal library. Jean de Berry may have been the first owner of the manuscript, which was probably begun shortly before his death, in 1414 or 1415. It comprises a cycle of 83 illustrations, each framed by a scene from the Life of St John against a red background. The size of the miniatures varies from half a page, with the text in two columns beneath, to full-page pictures with no text. As in the second Apocalypse of the so-called Master of the Medallion of similar date (Chantilly, Mus. Condé, MS. 28; see Meiss), the sequence of illustrations largely departs from older models.

The Master’s technique differs from that of contemporary Parisian illuminators. The drawing has a more spontaneous effect and is usually animated only by a wash tint, with a restrained palette of magenta, brown and green. In his later works the highlights in the landscape backgrounds are often executed in gold. In addition to this manuscript, Jean de Berry acquired in 1413 a copy of Le Brut d’Angleterre (Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 1454), also illuminated by the Apocalypse Master. The only dated manuscript (1416) with miniatures by the Master is a fragment, comprising 33 folios, of a Trésor des histoires (Paris, Bib. N., MS. nouv. acq. fr. 14285).


  • C. A. J. Nordenfalk: Kung praktiks och drottning teoris jaktbok: Le Livre des déduis du roi Modus et de la reine Ratio (Stockholm, 1955), pp. 61, 94
  • M. Meiss: French Painting in the Time of Jean de Berry: The Limbourgs and their Contemporaries (New York, 1974), pp. 252, 256, 298, 342, 368ff [with worklist]
  • E. König: Vom Schöpfer zum Autor: Genesis, Heilsgeschichte, Boccaccio: Eine Bilderhandscrift mit 78 Miniaturen vom Meister der Apolkalypse des Herzogs von Berry (Ramsen, 2006)

Master of Berry’s Cleres Femmes

  • Patrick M. de Winter

(fl 1403–15).

Name associated with a south Netherlandish or German workshop of illuminators, active in Paris. The name was coined by Meiss (1967) after the 109 miniatures in a manuscript of Boccaccio’s De mulieribus claris in French translation, Des Cleres et Nobles Femmes, or, more accurately, Des Femmes nobles et renommées (1404; Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 598); this is a refinement of Martens’s classification, the ‘Master of 1402’, which included other illuminators (see §I, below), all seemingly affiliated with the Paris-based publisher Jacques Rapondi. The Paris manuscript is a copy of another (1403; Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 12420), produced for Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, and the former was presented to Jean, Duc de Berry, by Jean de la Barre, a tax official. Three principal individuals may be identified within the Master of Berry’s Cleres Femmes workshop. Manuscripts attributed to the workshop include: a copy of Livy’s Histoire romaine (c. 1405; Geneva, Bib. Pub. & U., MS. 77), a Lancelot du lac (c. 1404; Paris, Bib. N., MSS fr. 117–20; for illustration see Romance, manuscript), a second Lancelot and a Bible historiale (1405–6; Paris, Bib. Arsenal, MSS 3479–80 and 5057–8, respectively) and another Des Femmes nobles et renommées (c. 1410; Brussels, Bib. Royale Albert 1er, MS. 9509). The style of the workshop can be traced until c. 1415 in such manuscripts as a Bible historiale (Brussels, Bib. Royale Albert 1er, MSS 9024–5) and a Book of Hours (Baltimore, MD, Walters A.Mus, MS. W. 265). Although adapted to Parisian patronage, these works reflect the Northern taste for stubby, gesturing figures; backgrounds are shallow with little interest in foreshortening.


  • B. Martens: Meister Francke (Hamburg, 1929)
  • M. Meiss: French Painting in the Time of Jean de Berry: The Late XIV Century and the Patronage of the Duke, 2 vols (London, 1967, rev. 1969)
  • M. Meiss: French Painting in the Time of Jean de Berry: The Boucicaut Master (London, 1968)
  • M. Meiss: French Painting in the Time of Jean de Berry: The Limbourgs and their Contemporaries, 2 vols (New York, 1974)
  • P. M. de Winter: La Bibliothèque de Philippe le Hardi, duc de Bourgogne (1364–1404): Etude sur les manuscrits à peintures d’une collection princière à l’époque du ‘Style Gothique International’ (Paris, 1985)

Berswordt Master

  • Brigitte Corley

(fl c. 1400–c. 1435).

German painter. He is named after a Crucifixion triptych (1431; Dortmund, Marienkirche) that bears the coat of arms of the local patrician family of Berswordt and appears to have been part of an endowment made in 1431 by the family for their newly acquired chapel. An investiture document of 1437 mentions the ‘newly erected altar of the Holy Cross’. The wings show Christ Carrying the Cross and the Deposition, with the Annunciation on the reverse sides. All altarpieces by the eclectic Berswordt Master reflect designs from other workshops, mainly those of Master Bertram and Conrad von Soest. These are assimilated, however, into a personal style with the usually generalized forms of his sharp-nosed protagonists showing broad, rapid brushstrokes.

The Bielefeld Altarpiece (?1400; central panel, Bielefeld, Neustädter Marienkirche) has also been attributed to the Master from surface characteristics and underdrawing style, although the uneven artistic quality suggests inexperience or workshop participation. The frame (untraced) was inscribed with the date 1400. The altarpiece features a central sacra conversazione, flanked by 12 scenes from the Childhood and Passion of Christ. The wings each showed nine scenes from the cycle (Berlin, Gemäldegal.; Oxford, Ashmolean; New York, Met.; priv. cols). Recent examination by infra-red photography revealed that the St Nicholas panel (c. 1410–20; Soest, Nikolaikapelle), formerly attributed to Conrad von Soest, derives from the same workshop.


  • F. Jacobs: ‘Der Meister des Berswordt-Altares’, vol. 117 of Göppinger akademische Beiträge (diss., U. Münster; Göppingen, 1983)
  • B. Corley: Conrad von Soest: His Altarpieces, his Workshop and his Place in European Art (diss., U. London, Courtauld Inst. and Birkbeck Coll., 1991) [incl. infra-red reflectograms and cat. entry for the altarpieces]
  • B. Corley: Conrad von Soest, Painter among Merchant Princes (London, 1996)

Biadaiolo Master

  • Domenico G. Firmani

(fl Florence, c. 1325–35).

Italian illuminator and painter. He is named from the manuscript known as Il Biadaiolo (Florence, Bib. Medicea-Laurenziana, MS. Tempi 3), which contains nine miniatures, all attributed to him. The text, written by Domenico Lenzi and entitled Specchio umano, documents grain prices and the resulting human consequences for the years 1320 to 1335 in Florence. The biadaiolo, or grain merchant, was an effective witness to this period, which was one of both prosperity and hardship; it was also chronicled by Giovanni Villani (c. 1275–1348). The moralistic overtones of Lenzi’s text are complemented in the miniatures by the depiction of angels and demons, signs that man has little control over events but must react appropriately to them. The Master records the events with much topical detail, and particular care is taken to portray accurately such scenes as the open-air grain market in Piazza Orsanmichele (fol. 79r) and the skylines of Siena and Florence (fols 57v–58r). This pictorial precision, with the Master’s narrative abilities, makes the scenes instructive yet charming. Two paintings are also attributed to the Master: a gabled panel with five scenes (the Virgin and Child with Saints, the Glorification of St Thomas Aquinas, the Nativity, Crucifixion and Last Judgement; 590×428 mm; New York, Met.) and a damaged tabernacle with, on the central panel, the Virgin and Child with Four Saints and Angels (ex-Joseph Lindon Smith priv. col., New York, see Offner and Steinweg, section III/ii/1, pl. XX). Offner considered the Biadaiolo Master to be a product of the ‘miniaturist’ tendency that was fostered by the workshop of Pacino di Bonaguida, and he noted the closeness of the Master’s style to that of the §I, (see below). Boskovits (Offner and Steinweg, III/ix), however, concluded that the works attributed to the Biadaiolo Master, datable to c. 1325–35, should be considered instead as the early production of the Master of the Dominican Effigies, whose documented career spans the period c. 1328–50.


  • R. Offner and K. Steinweg: Corpus (1930–79) [section III/ix by M. Boskovits]
  • G. Muzziolo: Mostra storica nazionale della miniatura (Florence, 1954)
  • D. Robb: The Art of the Illuminated Manuscript (Philadelphia, 1973)
  • L. Miglio: ‘Per una datazione del Biadaiolo fiorentino’, La Bibliofilia, vol. 77 (1975), pp. 1–36
  • G. Pinto: Il libro del Biadaiolo (Florence, 1978)
  • S. Partsch: Profane Buchmalerei der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft im spätmittelalterlichen Florenz (Worms, 1981)

Master of Bielke

  • Marta Galicki

(fl c. 1611–32).

Swedish painter. His name is derived from his portraits of Niels Bielke of Åkerö (1614; Stockholm, Skokloster Slott) and his children Thure Bielke and Sigrid Bielke (both c. 1622 or earlier). An earlier, full-figure portrait of Karl IX, King of Sweden (c. 1605–11; Romrod, Schloss) shows traces of the Master’s style. With his retardataire manner, in the style of c. 1500, the Master of Bielke is closely related to the Master of Bysta (fl c. 1610–20), but in comparison with the latter’s sober, simple work, the Master of Bielke’s pictures are mannered and stylized. Together they are considered the most interesting Swedish portrait painters of the early 17th century, and there is strong reason to believe that one of them, probably the Master of Bielke, can be identified as the Swedish court painter Holger (Holgerdt) Hansson (b before 1570; d 1624), who is known to have worked for Niels Bielke (1569–1639). In 1622 Hansson received orders for interiors and portraits for the royal apartments in the Kungliga Slott in Stockholm; the portraits, which included Duke John and his Consort and Gunilla Bielke (both ?1624), have not survived, and no other portraits were signed by Hansson. Although the Master of Bielke was prolific, no further work can be identified today except a portrait etching of Gustav II Adolf, King of Sweden (1618; Strömbom, fig.) in a church Bible.


  • S. Strömbom: Svenska kungliga porträtt i svenska porträttarkivets samlingar [Swedish court portraits in Swedish portrait collections], vol. 1 (Stockholm, 1943)

Bigallo Master

  • Angelo Tartuferi

(fl Florence, c. 1225–55).

Italian painter. Offner reconstructed the career of the painter of the Bigallo Crucifix (c. 1225–30; Florence, Mus. Bigallo), whose work shows the moderate plasticity and warm tones typical of much Florentine 13th-century painting. Certain stylistic features of the Bigallo Crucifix are similar to those found in the work of Berlinghiero Berlinghieri from Lucca, although perhaps too much attention has been paid to this. The painter’s ability to keep up with developments in contemporary painting is shown by the reflection of Giunta Pisano’s expressionism in another Crucifix (c. 1230–40; Chicago, IL, A. Inst.). The measured composition and breadth of plan in the dossal of St Zenobius, with four scenes from his life (Florence, Mus. Opera Duomo), demonstrates the Master’s competence as a narrative painter. Another painting attributed as a late work, a beautiful painted Crucifix (c. 1240s; Rome, Pal. Barberini), documents the links between the Bigallo Master and contemporary painting in Umbria and Lazio (see, for example, Marcucci).


  • R. Offner: ‘The mostra del tesoro di Firenze sacra: I’, Burlington Magazine, vol. 63 (1933), p. 76
  • E. B. Garrison: Italian Romanesque Panel Painting: An Illustrated Index (Florence, 1949), pp. 12–13
  • C. L. Ragghianti: Pittura del duecento a Firenze (Florence, 1955), pp. 11–12
  • L. Marcucci: Gallerie nazionali di Firenze: I dipinti toscani del secolo XIII (Rome, 1958), pp. 25–7
  • A. Tartuferi: La pittura a Firenze nel duecento (Florence, 1990), pp. 13–15, 71–2
  • G. Settark: Passages ou les primitifs du XIIIème et du XIVème siècle, maître du Bigallo et Bernardo Daddi (Treillières, 2000)
  • A. Tartueferi: Il maestro del Bigallo e la pittura della prima metà del Deucento agli Uffizi (Florence, 2007)

Master of the Birago Hours

  • Milvia Bollati

(fl c. 1465).

Italian illuminator. He was recognized by Alexander and De La Mare as the illuminator of a Book of Hours formerly in the Abbey Collection (MS. J.A. 6960) that bears the coat of arms of the Birago family. He illuminated all the pages of the manuscript except for folio 125r, which is attributed to Belbello da Pavia. The Master’s hand is also clearly recognizable in some pages of another Book of Hours (Paris, Bib. N., MS. fond. Smith-Lesouëf 22) and in a manuscript containing a treatise by the jurist Girolamo Mangiaria, Opusculum de impedimentis matrimonii ratione consanguinitatis et affinitatis (Paris, Bib. N., MS. Lat. 4586), which was read at Pavia University in 1465. The frontispiece (fol. 1r) depicts Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan, to whom the manuscript is dedicated, receiving the book from the author. In both the Birago and the Smith-Lesouëf Hours the Master collaborated with Belbello da Pavia, and he may have been trained in Belbello’s workshop. This would explain the accentuated expressiveness of some of his figures, the strong and brilliant colouring and, above all, the use of certain decorative motifs, such as branches of leaves and flowers against a gold background, which is typical of Belbello and his workshop.


  • G. Swarzenski and R. Schilling: Die illuminierten Handschriften und Einzelminiaturen des Mittelalters und der Renaissance in Frankfurter Besitz (Frankfurt am Main, 1929), pp. 247–8
  • J. J. G. Alexander and A. C. De La Mare: The Italian Manuscripts in the Library of Major J. R. Abbey (London, 1969), pp. 147–50
  • F. Avril: Dix siècles d’enluminure italienne (Paris, 1984), p. 156
  • E. Kirsch: Five Illuminated Manuscripts of Gian Galeazzo Visconti (Philadephia, PA, 1991), p. 100
  • P. L. Mulas: ‘Deux manuscrits enluminés lombards à Clermont-Ferrand’, Recherches en Histoire de l’Art, 3 (2004), pp. 151–5

Master of the Boccaccio Illustrations

  • J. P. Filedt Kok

(fl c. 1470–90).

South Netherlandish engraver. The name was given by Passavant to the anonymous engraver of nine illustrations in a French translation of Boccaccio, De La Ruine des nobles hommes et femmes, published by Colard Mansion (Bruges, 1476). This is the earliest surviving printed book to be illustrated with pasted-in engravings; of the few extant copies, the most complete, which contains eight hand-coloured prints, is in Boston, MA (Mus. F.A.). It is now clear that the nine illustrations are by different hands: Passavant, no. 5/Lehrs, no. 4, p 6/l 5, p 8/l 7–8, and possibly p 10/l 10 can be attributed to the illuminator known as the §I, ; p 3/l 2, p 7/l 6, and p 9/l 9 can be attributed to the Master of the White Inscriptions. The latter probably also executed p 4/l 3, which is a copy after the fragmentary print in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, formerly attributed to the Housebook Master.


  • Hollstein: Dut. & Flem.
  • J. D. Passavant: Le Peintre-graveur (Leipzig, 1860–64), vol. 2, pp. 3–10, 250 [p]
  • M. Lehrs: Geschichte und kritischer Katalog des deutschen, niederländischen und französischen Kupferstichs im XV. Jahrhundert (Vienna, 1908–34), vol. 4, pp. 165–87; vol. 7, pp. 390–400 [l]
  • F. Anzelewsky: ‘Die drei Boccaccio-Stiche von 1476 und ihre Meister’, Festschrift Friedrich Winkler (Berlin, 1959), pp. 114–25
  • Livelier than Life: The Master of the Amsterdam Cabinet or the Housebook Master (exh. cat., ed. J. P. Filedt Kok; Amsterdam, Rijksmus., 1985), pp. 191–2 [incl. bibliog.]

Master of Boethius BN fr. 809.

See under §I, .

Master of the Boqueteaux [Master of the Jean de Sy Bible; Master of the Umbrella-trees]

(fl c. 1350–80).

French illuminator or group of illuminators. The name was first used by Martin, who identified the work of a single workshop in a number of Parisian manuscripts of the second half of the 14th century. The leading master was so-named after the little groups of trees, or copses (boqueteaux), with umbrella tops, that characterize the work of this school. Although the precise division of labour within the group is controversial, the manuscripts forming the main core of work attributable to a leading master, perhaps to more than one, have been established. Some more recent critics, however, have preferred the designation Master of the Jean de Sy Bible, considering that the characteristic tree motif was first introduced by the Remède de Fortune Master c. 1350 and quickly adopted by other Parisian illuminators.

The ‘Boqueteaux’ style is identifiable early on in a large two-volume Bible historiale (London, BL, Royal MS. 17. E. VII), the text of which is dated 1357, and in the early unfinished sketches of the Bible translated by Jean de Sy (Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 15397), which was commissioned by King John II but probably not illustrated until the early 1360s. The other works of this group include a dated Bible (1368; Berlin, Staatsbib. Preuss. Kultbes., MS. Phillipps 1906), the two tinted drawings at the beginning of the works of Guillaume de Machaut (Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 1584), a Bible historiale, presented to Charles V in 1372 (The Hague, Rijksmus. Meermanno-Westreenianum, MS. 10. B. 23), the first volume of another Bible historiale (Paris, Bib. Arsenal, MS. 5212), part of the Grandes Heures of Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy (1376–7; vol. 1: Cambridge, Fitzwilliam, MS. 3–1954; Brussels, Bib. Royale Albert 1er, MSS 11035–7; vol. 2: Brussels, Bib. Royale Albert 1er, MS. 13092), the Songe du verger (1378; London, BL, Royal MS. 19 C. IV), and a copy of St Augustine’s City of God (London, BL, Add. MS. 15244). The style of these manuscripts shows a move away from the still prevalent courtly influence of Jean Pucelle towards a greater realism, particularly in the representation of nature and landscape. Animals, birds, and flowers abound, as well as the characteristic clumps of umbrella-trees. Figures are small and squat, lively and natural in their attitudes; they do not dominate the landscape but are set into it. A striking feature of these works is the peculiarly vigorous and dramatic narrative style. The miniatures are often executed in semi-grisaille, which became popular at this time.

The ‘Boqueteaux’ style gave a new impetus to Parisian manuscript illumination, spreading over much of northern France. The Master’s workshop became the most productive in Paris during the reign of Charles V (see Valois, House of family, §2) and often provided work for the King, sometimes in collaboration with the Master of the Coronation Book of Charles V (see also Guillaume de Machaut). Many more manuscripts can be associated with the ‘Boqueteaux’ style, but most are of lower artistic quality; later manuscripts in the group show a decline in vigour and an increasingly repetitive style. In all, perhaps as many as 12 illuminators contributed to this workshop. The identification of the principal illuminator as Boudolf, Jan, who signed the frontispiece of the Hague Bible, has been disputed.


  • H. M. R. Martin: La Miniature française du XIIIe au XVe siècle (Paris, 1923), pp. 44–54
  • E. Panofsky: Early Netherlandish Painting: Its Origins and Character, vol. 1 (Cambridge, MA, 1953), pp. 36–41; rev. L. M. J. Delaissé in Scriptorium, vol. 11 (1957), pp. 109–18
  • M. Meiss: French Painting in the Time of Jean de Berry: The Late Fourteenth Century and the Patronage of the Duke (London, 1967), pp. 20–23, 96, 162, 181, 198, 287–8, 388
  • P. M. de Winter: ‘The Grandes Heures of Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy: The Copyist Jean L’Avenant and his Patrons at the French Court’, Speculum, vol. 57(4) (1982), pp. 786–842
  • C. Sterling: La Peinture médiévale à Paris, 1300–1500 (Paris, 1987)
  • M. Manion: ‘The Princely Patron and the Liturgy: Mass Texts in the Grandes Heures of Philip the Bold’, The Cambridge Illuminations: The Conference Papers: Cambridge University Library and Fitzwilliam Museum: 8–10 December 2005

Border Limner.

See Phillips, Ammi.

Master of Borsjö

  • Antonia Boström

(fl c. 1625–7).

Sculptor, active in Sweden. The name derives from a group of works associated with Borsjö Manor House in Skåne, southern Sweden (under Danish rule in the 17th century). The latest work in this group is a sandstone and limestone pulpit dated 1626. Stylistically this pulpit is close to two earlier pulpits produced in Skåne, one for Lund Cathedral by Johannes Ganssog (1592) and the other, dated 1599, by Daniel Thommisen (d 1603), in the church of St Peter, Malmö. All three make use of north German Renaissance ornament, and their similar relief compositions are reminiscent of the work of Hans van Steenwinckel the younger. The assured solution of technical and spatial problems in the Borsjö pulpit, however, suggests an original hand. Various works originally at Borsjö or associated with its owners, the Marsvin family, follow the style of the pulpit. These include a relief of the Crucifixion (1627; Sofvestad Church), an oak relief of the Last Supper (Borsjö Chapel), a series of 12 oak pew ends depicting Christ and the Apostles (Lund U., Kstmus.; formerly Balkåkra Church), the pulpit at Sjörup parish church (formerly at Borsjö), and the monument to Frederik Ulfeld and his Family, originally in Borsjö old parish church (now Balkåkra Church). This carved and painted oak monument, displaying the deceased (d 1622) and his children kneeling before a triumphal arch, is enhanced by an elaborate, scrolling, Baroque frame decorated with the evangelists, putti, and reliefs of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. It is signed a.s., the only clue to the sculptor’s identity.


  • O. Rydbeck: Två märkliga konstnärer: Adam van Düren och Mästaren med signaturen A.S. [Two remarkable artists: Adam van Düren and the Master with the signature a.s.] (Stockholm, 1918), pp. 77–141

Boucicaut Master

(fl c. 1390–1430).

Illuminator, active in Paris. The anonymous artist known as the Boucicaut Master is named after his work in the Book of Hours of Paris Use (274×190 mm; Paris, Mus. Jacquemart-André, MS. 2), which was commissioned by Jean II le Meingre de Boucicaut, Marshal (maréchal) of France (1365–1421).

1. Book of Hours of Maréchal de Boucicaut.

After the death of Maréchal de Boucicaut the manuscript passed to his brother Geoffroy, who left it in 1430 to his son Jean III le Meingre. The last-named had folios 240–42 added, which include two miniatures attributed to Pierre Villate. After Jean III le Meingre’s death (1490), the manuscript was owned by Aymar de Poitiers, who had most of the arms and mottoes of the Marshal replaced with his own. The Book of Hours can be dated after 1401, when Boucicaut went to Genoa as French governor. It includes a suffrage to St Bridget of Sweden, whose cult was popular in Italy but not in the kingdom of France because of her enmity towards the French crown. Furthermore, the youngest king in the Adoration of the Magi (fol. 83v) is, unusually, dressed in black and wears a chain closely resembling the bâton noueux chosen in 1403 by Louis d’Orléans as the device for the anti-Burgundian party. This implies that at least parts of the manuscript were completed after the murder of Louis d’Orléans on 23 November 1407.

Some of the requirements of the patron set the Boucicaut Hours apart from most other Books of Hours produced for princely or royal patrons. The suffrages are placed at the beginning instead of the end of the manuscript; the saints are not ordered according to the litany but have a strong biographical emphasis; and the full-page miniatures of standing saints are unique for their time. The artistic innovations, however, in both the decoration and illustration, are the most notable features of the manuscript. The miniatures of the Boucicaut Hours, all full-page, are remarkable for the interest shown in perspective and light, and Panofsky noted their importance for the origins of early Netherlandish painting. The handling of the figures is more conventional; the faces are stereotyped, with eyes, mouths, and noses often registered only with grey brushstrokes; similarly, the modelling of flesh is generally rather minimal, as for example in the Martyrdom of St Lawrence (fol. 20v). The strength of the Boucicaut Master lies in the depiction of architecture with an empirical perspective that achieves astonishing spatial effects. Often the scene is framed by an arch that is not logically connected to the rest of the architecture, thus distancing the onlooker from the sacred event or subject. The landscape elements inserted in the foreground of the outdoor scenes have a similar function. There are also significant achievements in the depiction of landscape. The middle ground (often depicting a lake with swans on it) becomes paler in colour and more blurred as it leads into the background, in which diminutive figures are sometimes set. The far landscape extends to the horizon, above which is a band of blue with delicate accents of vermilion and grey. When the landscape is shown under strong light, as in the Flight into Egypt (fol. 90v), which also has one of the earliest examples of a sunrise, the background is highlighted with gold, as if the light were reflected back from the landscape and the figures in it.

The Boucicaut Master uses very bright colours with a new luminosity and more subtle tones than earlier manuscript illuminators. The use of colour is developed from the fundamental contrast between blue and red. There are almost no pastel shades apart from pink, and yellow is hardly ever used. The borders are fairly uniform. Besides the golden ivy leaves on penwork tendrils, there are especially fine early examples of acanthus foliage sprouting from the ends or middles of the three-sided baguettes. The formation of the bas-de-pages suggests that the manuscript occupies an early position in the Master’s oeuvre.

2. Related works.

On the basis of the Boucicaut Book of Hours, a large but not wholly homogeneous corpus of works has been assembled for the Master and his workshop. The Book of Hours of Paris Use (215×160 mm; Oxford, Bodleian Lib., MS. Douce 144) dated 1407 (1408 new style) on fol. 27r has some miniatures similar to the style of the Boucicaut Master. Nevertheless there are differences, above all in the flesh tones, which are underlaid with green, and the broader, more roundly modelled heads and bodies. The palette is wider, and green is used not only for landscape but also for clothing and architecture. Black is used as a colour, and white clothing is heightened with chromatic colours. Closely related to this style are a few miniatures (fol. 84r; fol. 100r) and initials attributed to the Boucicaut Master or his workshop in the Grandes Heures of Jean, Duc de Berry (400×300 mm; Paris, Bib. N., MS. lat. 919), which was completed in 1409. The three miniatures in the Réponses de Pierre Salmon (280×205 mm; Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 23279) are, however, much closer in style to the Boucicaut Hours. The text was written in 1409 for Charles VI, King of France, and the Paris manuscript was a presentation copy completed that year. Another copy (265×195 mm; Geneva, Bib. Pub. & U., MS. fr. 165) was illuminated by the same painter but after 1411, because it includes a letter of that date (fol. 100v); however, the sources for the illuminations have no connection with those of the Paris copy. The miniature on fol. 4r (Charles VI with the Author and Three Nobles) is one of the most important works of the Boucicaut Master himself and has a unique border composed of emblems of the King. The later part of the manuscript, from fol. 109v, was completed in the mid-15th century. It is known from the inventory of 1413 of Jean, Duc de Berry, that the richly illustrated Livre des merveilles (420×298 mm; Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 2810) was given to him by John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, whose arms, devices and portrait appear on fol. 226r. The manuscript has 265 miniatures painted in a style that resembles that of the Book of Hours in Oxford (Douce 144) and the Grandes Heures (MS. lat. 919) but is rather distant from the Boucicaut Hours itself. All this suggests that a workshop was involved, which employed illuminators working in two distinct but related styles.

Besides the commissions from the French princes, the high reputation enjoyed by the Boucicaut Master in his lifetime is demonstrated by other surviving manuscripts. These include the Breviary made for a Dauphin, assumed to be Louis, Duc de Guyenne (d 1415), of which only the summer section survives (280×195 mm; Châteauroux, Bib. Mun., MS. 2). The chief illuminator here was the bedford master (see above), who is sometimes identified as Haincelin of Hagenau, enlumineur et varlet de chambre of this Dauphin from 1409 to 1415. The Breviary is remarkable for its numerous high-quality historiated initials, as well as for miniatures that, in spite of being extremely small, are unprecedented in their rich detail. Fol. 265r shows, for example, a procession leading into the portal of a church, which must be intended to represent the west portal of Notre-Dame, Paris; and fol. 364r, depicting the Martyrdom of St Denis at Montmartre, has a detailed view of Paris in the background. Both these miniatures were painted by the Boucicaut Master. A third collaborator on this manuscript was named by Meiss as the Orosius Master, after the Histoire ancienne (Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 301), executed before 1400.

The Lectionary from the Sainte Chapelle in Bourges (505×305 mm; Bourges, Bib. Mun., MSS 33–6) contains the arms, devices and portrait of Jean de Berry (MS. 35, fol. 17v; the Duke kneeling before St Andrew). In these manuscripts the same illuminator as in the Grandes Heures appears, again working in collaboration with the pseudo-jacquemart (see below), an illuminator working in an archaic style from the circle of Jacquemart de Hesdin. The similarities with the Grande Heures in decoration and the choice of saints in the calendar are particularly striking.

A Missal executed for a member of the merchant family of Trenta from Lucca (336×256 mm; Lucca, Bib. Stat., MS. 3122) bears their arms in the border of fol. 7r, and members of the family are probably depicted at Mass in the miniature on this folio. Lorenzo Trenta is the most likely of the four Trenta brothers who can be considered as possible patrons of the book (all of whom were residing in northern Europe as merchants), because only his patron saint seems to be honoured in a miniature in the Missal (Meiss). The smaller miniatures (including the Mass on fol. 7r, the finest in the book) are notable for their brilliant colour and sense of atmosphere. The large pages of the canon, especially the Crucified Christ, are more solid in effect, and their compositions are very conservative.

The extensive influence of the workshop of the Boucicaut Master is reflected still more strongly in a Book of Hours of the Use of Rome made for the Visconti of Milan (195×140 mm; Turin, Bib. Reale, MS. Var. 77; historiated initials belonging to it, MS. Var. 74). The illustrations are confined to historiated initials, but the beginnings of the Offices of the Passion and the Dead are distinguished by the addition of bas-de-page scenes. Although both the script and layout of the manuscript are Italian, it may not have been made in Italy; singularly, the corpse in the miniature for the Office of the Dead (fol. 49r) wears a royal crown. The Visconti Book of Hours, which may have been produced a little earlier than the Boucicaut Hours, is also notable because it contains contributions from both stylistic groups discernible in the Boucicaut workshop. The choice of colour in a detached initial from this manuscript corresponds to that in the Book of Hours in Oxford and the Grandes Heures of Jean, Duc de Berry, for example the use of violet against beige and the clothing of St Joseph in the Nativity scene (fol. 16r), who is entirely wrapped in red draperies with a black head-covering. This illuminator, who is not encountered in the Boucicaut Hours itself, also executed the miniature illustrating the Penitential Psalms (fol. 37r).

Other books by the Boucicaut Master’s workshop include the Livre de la propriété des choses of Bartholomaeus Anglicus (385×295 mm; Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 9141), which still contains the arms of Beraud III, Comte de Clermont (d 1426). Admiral Prigent Coëtivy, de family possessed two manuscripts from the workshop of the Boucicaut Master, although he may not have been their first owner as he was born c. 1400: Boccaccio, Des Cleres et Nobles Femmes (409×292 mm; Lisbon, Mus. Gulbenkian, MS. L. A. 143) and Le Livre du trésor des histoires (386×280 mm; Paris, Bib. Arsenal, MS. 50777). The Boucicaut Master’s collaboration with Jacquemart de Hesdin on the Très Belles Heures of Jean, Duc de Berry (Brussels, Bib. Royale Albert 1er, MS. 11060/61), is now generally disputed, but the proposal was one factor in the tentative identification of the Boucicaut Master with Jacques Coene, a theory that has received somewhat wider support.

It seems certain that the Boucicaut workshop was active in Paris, but its period of activity is less clear. The only dates that can be verified are for the short period between 1407 and the beginning of 1413, and Meiss accordingly limited the Boucicaut Master’s activity to the first and second decades of the 15th century, beginning with the Boucicaut Book of Hours. Some Books of Hours are clearly earlier than either the Boucicaut Hours or the Book of Hours in Oxford of 1407, however, which suggests that the beginnings of the style should be dated before 1400. On the other hand, a small but artistically outstanding Book of Hours of Paris Use (159×114 mm; London, BL, Add. MS. 16997), later owned by Etienne Chevalier, probably dates from the mid-1420s.

The collaborator of the Boucicaut Master in the Book of Hours in Oxford went on from his tentative attempts to penetrate and fill the entire picture page to develop an imaginative and animated type of border incorporating medallions. This finds its most mature expression in his principal work, the Book of Hours of Paris Use (250×175mm; Paris, Bib. Mazarine, MS. 469), which probably dates from c. 1415 (the illuminator of a Breviary of John the Fearless collaborated as a subordinate in the manuscript). The Mazarine Hours have miniatures and texts that are clearly English additions. Another Book of Hours (London, BL, Egerton MS. 1070), which was once owned by Rene I, King of Naples, and a Bible historiale (London, BL, Royal MS. 15 D III), both including illuminations from the Boucicaut Master’s workshop, were also in England by the late 15th century. Other works in the style of the Boucicaut Master include a Book of Hours (Florence, Gal. Corsini) in which many northern French saints are prominently named in the calendar, suggesting a northern French patron, and a Book of Hours of Paris Use (ex-D. and J. Zwemmer priv. col.) that contains calendar miniatures executed by the Master of the Rohan Hours, at a time when he was active in Troyes or Angers. An Histoire romaine by Livy (ex-Aachen, Suermondt-Ludwig-Mus.; not that now in Los Angeles, CA, Getty Mus.) was written by a scribe of Breton origin, Raoul Tainguy.

3. Influence.
  • Gabriele Bartz

Through the wide dissemination of his works and the training of successive generations of illuminators, the Boucicaut Master decidedly influenced the whole of French 15th-century manuscript illumination. The realistic representation of space, the lighting effects and the straightforward interaction between the figures by means of clear, concise gestures offered considerable advantages over the works of equally famous contemporaries such as the Fastolf Master and the Master of Margaret of Orleans. Succeeding generations gave the physiognomies more character than either the Boucicaut Master or the illuminator responsible for the Mazarine Hours, however. Even Jean Fouquet employed the Boucicaut Master’s illuminations as a basis for his own; and his predilection for colour schemes built on the contrasts between blue and red were derived from the same source, even if he did not know the Boucicaut Master himself.


  • P. Durrieu: ‘Le Maître des Heures du Maréchal de Boucicaut’, Revue de l’art ancien et moderne, vol. 19 (1906), pp. 401–15; vol. 20 (1906), pp. 21–35
  • E. Panofsky: Early Netherlandish Painting: Its Origin and Character, 2 vols (Cambridge, MA, 1953), pp. 53–61
  • M. Meiss: French Painting in the Time of Jean de Berry: The Boucicaut Master (London, 1968)
  • D. Byrne: ‘The Boucicaut Master and the Iconographical Tradition of the Livre des propriétés des choses’, Gazette des beaux-arts [suppl. is Chron. A.], n. s. 6, vol. 91 (1978), pp. 149–60
  • B. König: Französische Malerei um 1450: Der Jouvenel-Maler, der Maler des Genfer Boccaccio und die Anfänge Jean Fouquets (Berlin, 1982), pp. 113–35
  • C. Sterling: Enguerrand Quarton: Le Peintre de la ‘Pietà d’Avignon’ (Paris, 1983), pp. 167–71
  • D. Proske-Van Heerdt: ‘A French and Flemish Book of Hours in Guernsey’, Scriptorium, vol. 45(2) (1991), pp. 266–87
  • C. de Merindol: ‘Les Heures du Maréchal de Boucicaut: Mise au point et nouvelle lectures: Réflexions sur les manuscrits à caractère officiel our davantage privé’, Flanders in a European Perspective: Manuscript Illumination around 1400 in Flanders and Abroard: Leuven, 1993, pp. 61–74
  • D. Pearsall: ‘Sense of Space and Sense of Place in Late Medieval Art and Literature: Chaucher and the Boucicaut Master. Icon to Cartoon: A Tribute to Sixten Ringbom’, Taidehist. Tutkimuksial/Ksthist. Stud., vol. 16 (1995), pp. 247–59
  • T. Kren: ‘Boccaccio’s Des cac des noble [i.e., nobels] hommes et femmes at the Getty Museum’, Apollo, vol. 144(415) (Sept 1996), pp. 76–8
  • B. Roux: Les Dialogues de Salmon et CharlesVI: Images du pouvoir et enjeux politiques (Geneva, 1998)
  • G. Bartz: Der Boucicaut-Meister: Ein unbekanntes Stundenbuch (Ramsen and Rotthalmünster, 1999)
  • A. Châtelet: L’âge d’or du manuscrit à peintures en France au temps de Charles VI et, Les heures du Maréchal Boucicaut (Dijon, 2000)
  • J. Kubiski: ‘Orientalizing Costume in Early Fifteenth-century French manuscript Painting (Cité des Dames Master, Limbourg brothers, Boucicaut Master, and Bedford Master)’, Gesta, vol. 40(2) (2001), pp. 161–80
  • C. G. Andrews: ‘The Boucicaut Masters’, Gesta, vol. 41(1) (2002), pp. 29–38
  • I. Villela-Petit: Le bréviaire de Châteauroux (Paris, 2003)
  • I. Villela-Petit and B. Guineau: ‘Maître de Boucicaut revisité: Palette et technique d’un enlumineur parisien au début du XVe siècle’, A. Enluminure, vol. 6 (2003), pp. 2–33

Master of the Bourbons.

See §I, .

Master of the Brandon Portrait

  • Jetty E. van der Sterre

(fl c. 1530).

South Netherlandish painter. He worked in Bruges and owes his name to his portrait of Charles Brandon, Earl of Suffolk (c. 1530), courtier to Henry VIII, King of England. It is clear from this one painting that his work is south Netherlandish in character. Apart from this piece, Friedländer attributed five other portraits with similar characteristics to the Master. The calm dignity expressed by these portraits and the careful, neat manner in which they were executed suggests that they were painted by a follower of Gerard David. The style of this Master is also reminiscent of that of Adriaen Isenbrandt, although the former’s sitters are more sharply individualized, and there is a more distinctive and even glassy range of colours in his work. One further distinguishing feature of these portraits is the striking use of light in the modelling of the sitters’ heads. Generally, the portraits show a tendency towards geometrical stylization, which makes them look rather empty and bare. This effect is partly due also to certain details, such as the tightly closed mouth, with vertical lines on either side, and the glazed expression of the sitters. Friedländer mentioned a number of south Netherlandish painters who were working in England at the court of Henry VIII between 1520 and 1530 and who might therefore be identified with the Master of the Brandon Portrait. The first artist he suggested was Jan Rav, who became a member of the painters’ guild in Bruges in 1512 and who was living in England c. 1530. Two other artists mentioned by Friedländer are Gerard Horenbout (see Horenbout family, §1) and his son Lucas Horenbout (see Horenbout family, §2), who moved to London some time between 1521 and 1526.


  • M. J. Friedländer: ‘Ein vlamischer Portraitmaler in England’, Gentsche bijdragen tot de kunstgeschiedenis [Ghent contributions to art history; cont. as Gent. Bijdr. Kstgesch. & Oudhdknd.; Gent. Bijdr. Kstgesch.], vol. 4 (1937), pp. 5–18

Master of the Breisach Altar.

See §III, .

Master of the Breviary of Jean sans Peur

  • Susie Nash

(fl c. 1406–20).

Illuminator, active in France. This name was given by Meiss (1956) to the main illuminator of a large and richly decorated two-volume Breviary (London, BL, Add. MS. 35311 and Harley MS. 2897) made for John the Fearless (Jean sans Peur), Duke of Burgundy, between 1413 and 1419. The illumination in this manuscript shows a thorough knowledge of the art of the de Limbourg brothers, with whom the Master appears to have collaborated on the Très Riches Heures (c. 1411/13–16; Chantilly, Mus. Condé, MS. 65), painting many initials and the finest of the borders. Apart from these manuscripts, his style is rarely found. One miniature in a manuscript dated 1406 (Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 926) and several illuminations in Books of Hours produced c. 1410–20 (Baltimore, MD, Walters A. Mus., MS. W. 219; Vienna, Österreich. Nbib., Cod. s.n. 2613; Palermo, Bib. Cent. Regione Siciliana, MS. 1.A.15) have been attributed to him. These manuscripts show his collaboration with such Parisian painters as the Boucicaut Master and the Egerton Master (fl 1400–20) and with artists associated with north-east France, such as the Master of Walters 219, which suggests that he may have worked in both areas. Although employing many figure types and compositions from the Limbourgs, the Breviary Master did not copy their models slavishly and was capable of adapting and on occasion improving on them. His borders in the Très Riches Heures reveal an accurate and detailed observation of plants and animals not found to the same extent in their work.

The Master employed a distinctive technique of modelling forms with a feathery stippling of colour, which extends to areas of delicately punched burnished gold. In the Book of Hours in Baltimore this technique verges on a form of pointillism, with line abandoned and form defined purely with colour. The shimmering effect of his illuminations is aided by his luminous palette, which combines yellows, reds and blues with burnished metals.


  • M. Meiss: ‘The Exhibition of French Manuscripts of the XIII–XVI Centuries at the Bibliothèque Nationale’, Art Bulletin, vol. 38 (1956), pp. 187–96
  • M. Meiss: ‘The Master of the Breviary of Jean sans Peur and the Limbourgs’, Proceedings of the British Academy, vol. 56 (1970), pp. 111–29
  • M. Meiss: French Painting in the Time of Jean de Berry: The Limbourgs and their Contemporaries, 2 vols (London and New York, 1974)
  • O. Pächt and D. Thoss: Die illuminierten Handschriften der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek: Französische Schule I, 2 vols (Vienna, 1974), p. 138
  • L. M. C. Randall and others: France, 875–1420 (1990), vol. 1 of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery (Baltimore, 1990–), pp. 280–85

Bruges Master of 1473.

See §II, .

Master of the Brunswick Diptych

  • James Snyder

(fl c. 1480–1510).

North Netherlandish painter. He was named by Friedländer after a diptych in Brunswick of the Virgin and Child with St Anne in a spacious garden setting on the left panel and a kneeling Carthusian Monk Presented by St Barbara on the right. The reverse of the right wing has a standing figure of St Bavo. The donor has been identified (van Luttervelt) as Hendrik van Haarlem, prior of the Charterhouse of Amsterdam until 1490, but this cannot be confirmed. The diptych was formerly attributed to Geertgen tot Sint Jans, although reminiscences of the style of the Master of the Tiburtine Sibyl appear in the barren architectural background and in certain drapery conventions. The composition closely resembles one of the same subject by a follower of Hugo van der Goes (Brussels, Mus. A. Anc.).

A number of other paintings attributed to the Master of the Brunswick Diptych have been described as early works of Geertgen, but the Master of the Brunswick Diptych employed a lighter palette than Geertgen, with blond tones and soft pinks predominating. His treatment of the draped figure is less plastic and three-dimensional, and spatial settings are frequently abstracted into flat, colourful patterns that lack the clarity of Geertgen’s constructions. There is a miniature-like quality to his compositions. Three panels that were part of an altarpiece dedicated to the infancy of Christ, the Annunciation (Glasgow, A.G. & Mus.), the Nativity (Amsterdam, Rijksmus.), and the Presentation (Minneapolis, MN, Inst. A.), are typical of his more decorative style and are considered to be among his earliest works. In each panel Mary wears a colourful blue and white floral brocade, and Joseph is portrayed as a young man. An Adoration of the Magi (Amsterdam, Rijksmus.), usually attributed to Geertgen tot Sint Jans, has been identified as the central panel of the triptych, but this seems unlikely. Among the other works attributed to the Master of the Brunswick Diptych are two tall wings from a Passion (?Crucifixion) triptych, the Arrest of Christ and the Entombment (Brussels, Mus. A. Anc.). The compositions, with the summary treatment of the figures and the steeply rising landscape backgrounds spotted with tiny figures, are related to manuscript illumination. The standing figures in niches on two panels, St Valerian and St Cecilia (Amsterdam, Rijksmus.), typify the doll-like character of his saints, a quality that is especially evident in the charming Holy Family at Supper (Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Mus.). A new type of subject-matter for panel painting, domestic genre, appears in this intimate household scene with a young mother feeding soup to her child. The Cologne painting has also been attributed to Jan Mostaert, and this association has led some art historians to identify the Master of the Brunswick Diptych as the teacher of Mostaert (Châtelet). According to van Mander (Het schilder-boeck, 1604), Mostaert was trained by Jacob van Haarlem, perhaps the painter Jacob Jansz. van Haarlem, whose activity in Haarlem is documented from 1483 until his death in 1509. Whether or not this identification is acceptable or the Master and Jacob van Haarlem are the same artist, the works of the Master of the Brunswick Diptych do link the art of Geertgen to that of Mostaert in Haarlem.


  • L. Balet: Der Frühholländer Geertgen tot Sint Jans (The Hague, 1909)
  • M. J. Friedländer: Die altniederländische Malerei (Berlin, 1924–37); Eng. trans. as Early Netherlandish Painting (Leiden, 1967–76), vol. 5, pp. 31–2
  • J. J. H. Kessler: Geertgen tot Sint Jans: Zijne herkomst en invloed in Holland [Geertgen tot Sint Jans: his origins and influence in Holland] (Utrecht, 1930)
  • G. J. Hoogewerff: De Noord-Nederlandsche schilderkunst [North-Netherlandish painting], vol. 2 (The Hague, 1937), pp. 194–202
  • W. Vogelsang: Geertgen tot Sint Jans (Amsterdam, 1945)
  • R. van Luttervelt: ‘Schilderijen met Karthuizers uit de late 15de en de vroege 16de eeuw’ [Paintings with Carthusians from the late 15th to the early 16th century], Oud-Holland, vol. 66 (1951), pp. 75–92
  • Middeleeuwse kunst der noordelijke Nederlanden (exh. cat., Amsterdam, Rijksmus., 1958), pp. 55–8
  • A. Châtelet: Les Primitifs hollandais (Paris, 1980); Eng. trans. as Early Dutch Painting (Oxford, 1981), pp. 124–33

Master of the Brussels Initials

  • Robert G. Calkins

(fl Paris and Bologna, c. 1390–1410).

Illuminator. His name and a corpus of works attributed to him are derived from the 15 historiated initials in the Très Belles Heures of Jean, Duc de Berry (Brussels, Bib. Royale Albert 1er, MSS 11060–61), possibly executed before 1402. Pächt’s identification of the Master as Zebo or Zanobi da Firenze on the basis of an inscription in the Hours of Charles the Noble (Cleveland, OH, Mus. A., MS. 64.40) is no longer accepted.

With the exception of the entirely Italian Statute Book illuminated by the Master for the Compagnia dello Spedale di S Maria della Vita (Bologna, Bib. Com. Archiginnasio, Fondo Ospedali MS. 6), which can be dated to 1408, his work appears alongside that of French illuminators in manuscripts produced in or around Paris in the first decade of the 15th century. At times the Master simply worked on manuscripts that appear to have been left unfinished, as in the case of the Brussels Hours, in which his historiated initials are decorated with brilliantly coloured acanthus leaves and peopled by energetic figures with green flesh tones, standing out in marked contrast to the more subdued French miniatures and borders. In a Book of Hours of c. 1390 (Parma, Bib. Palatina, MS. lat. 159), perhaps his first work in France, the Master executed calendar illustrations and five other miniatures, all inserted in borders typically French in style and format and appearing with the work of French illuminators. Occasionally, as in a Book of Hours in Oxford (Bodleian Lib., MS. Douce 62), the French borders around his miniatures were erased and replaced by lavishly coloured acanthus and gold medallions peopled by nude putti in the Italian manner. In the Hours of Charles the Noble and in another Book of Hours (London, BL, Add. MS. 29433) the Master is the dominant artistic personality, having control of the decoration as well as the illuminations on most of his miniature pages, but adding historiated initials to text pages with the distinctive French ivy borders.

The Master of the Brussels Initials is important for having introduced to Paris a repertory of Italian iconographic motifs, luxurious and brightly coloured acanthus borders, fanciful and luminously coloured architectural settings, some derived from frescoes by Altichiero in Padua, and a lively narrative style that transformed the aesthetic effect of the French manuscripts on which he worked. The influence of his Italianate style supplanted that of earlier 14th-century Italian art that had previously pervaded French illumination, and it decisively contributed to the rich and exotic qualities of the internationalism that was developing in French manuscript illumination at this time.


  • O. Pächt: The Master of Mary of Burgundy (London, [1948]), p. 52
  • W. Wixom: ‘The Hours of Charles the Noble’, Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art, vol. 52(3) (March 1965), pp. 50–83
  • M. Meiss: French Painting in the Time of Jean de Berry: The Late Fourteenth Century and the Patronage of the Duke (New York, 1967), pp. 229–46
  • R. Calkins: ‘An Italian in Paris: The Master of the Brussels Initials and his Participation in the French Book Industry’, Gesta, vol. 20(1) (1981), pp. 223–32
  • P. de Winter: ‘Art, Devotion and Satire: The Book of Hours of Charles III, the Noble, King of Navarre, at the Cleveland Museum of Art’, Gamut, vol. 2 (1981), pp. 42–59
  • R. Calkins: Illuminated Books of the Middle Ages (Ithaca, 1983), pp. 250–81
  • R. Gibbs: ‘The Brussels Initials Master: From Proto-Renaissance to Northern Renaissance and Back’, Apollo, vol. 134 (1991), pp. 317–21
  • M. Bollati: ‘Un’aggiunta e una precisazione sul “Maestro delle iniziali di Bruxelles”’, Arte a Bologna, vol. 4 (1997), pp. 133–9
  • M. Medica: ‘Nuove tracce per l’attività padovana del Maestro delle Iniziali Bruxelles’, La miniatura a Padova dal Medioevo al Settecento, ed. G. Canova Mariani (Modena, 1999), pp. 471–9
  • M. Bollati: ‘Il Maestro delle Iniziali di Bruxelles: Altri codici per la tarda attività bolognese’, Nuovi Studi, vols 9–10(11) (2004–5), pp. 5–10
  • M. Medica: ‘La miniatura a Bologna’, La miniatura in Italia, I: Dal tardoantico al Trecento con riferimenti al Medio Oriente e all’Occidente europeo, ed. A. P. Donati Murano and A. Perriccioli Saggese (Naples, 2005), pp. 177–93

Master of Burgo de Osma

  • Mathieu Hériard Dubreuil

(fl first half of the 15th century).

Spanish painter. The anonymous painter named after the altarpiece of the Virgin (c. 1430–40; now dismembered, panels in Burgo de Osma, Mus. Catedralicio, and Paris, Louvre) made for the high altar of the cathedral of El Burgo de Osma, Castile, was a follower of Pere Nicolau and an important representative of Valencian painting of the early 15th century. The Virgin altarpiece in the parish church of Rubielos de Mora (Teruel) of c. 1410–20 is the painter’s most characteristic work, in which the elegance of the elongated forms combines with a vigorous expressionism. The Entombment (Seville, Mus. B.A.) and Deposition (Barcelona, Pal. Puig), all panels from a dismembered retable, are in a similar style. The Master’s later manner was more subdued, and the late Quo Vadis (c. 1440–50; Madrid, Mus. Arqueol. N.) shows his interest in naturalistic features.


  • L. de Saralegui: ‘Miscelanea de remembranzas vicentinas’, Archivo de arte valenciano, vol. 26 (1955), pp. 19–26
  • M. Hériard Dubreuil: ‘Gótico internacional’, Historia del arte valenciano, vol. 2 (Valencia, 1988), pp. 182–235
  • M. Eveno, E. Martin, and C. Ressort: ‘L’ornementation métallique et ses altérations: Maître de Burgo de Osma, La Vièrge et l’Enfant entourés d’anges, Saint Ambroise’, Technè, vol. 7 (1998), pp. 105–8

Master of the Burgundian Prelates

  • Susie Nash

(fl c. 1470–90).

Illuminator, active in France. Reynaud assembled a large group of manuscripts under this name, including two Missals (Paris, Bib. N., MS. lat. 879; Siena, Bib. Com. Intronati, MS. X.V.I.), a Pontifical (Autun, Bib. Mun., MS. 129), and a Breviary (Chaumont, Bib. Mun., MSS 32–3). They were made between 1475 and 1490 for several high-ranking Burgundian church officials, after whose patronage the Master is named. He may also have been employed by one of them, Ferry de Clugny (d 1483), to paint the frescoes in the Chapelle Dorée of Autun Cathedral between 1473 and 1480, although their ruined state makes attribution difficult. This, and the liturgical use of the other manuscripts associated with his hand, such as the Book of Hours of Autun Use (London, BL, Sloane MS. 2419), suggests that the Master was based in the Burgundian region, working for a prestigious but predominantly local clientele. His style is characterized by its calm sobriety, created partly by a distinctive palette of dull rose, dark blue, grey, and matt gold. His figures are still, with softly modelled faces that are meditative rather than expressive and with eyes averted or turned towards Heaven in restrained gestures of piety and awe. Drapery is hatched with a mesh of gold lines; architecture and landscapes are often outlined with touches of white. The Master’s compositions are static and show little interest in drama or narration, but his style is ideally suited to devotional images, such as the full page Crucifixion in the Missal of Richard Chambellan (Paris, Bib. N., MS. lat. 879). This illumination, like several others attributed to this Master, is large in size and independent from any text or subsidiary decoration, which lends it the character of a small panel rather than a decorated page. It is his most accomplished work and reaches a standard not found in all the manuscripts of this group.


  • L. Cloquet and A. de Lagrange: ‘Manuscrits de Ferry de Clugny’, Revue de l’art chrétien (1889), pp. 77–80
  • Y. Bonnefoy: Peintures murales de la France gothique (Paris, 1954), p. 27
  • N. Reynaud: ‘Un Peintre français de la fin du XVe siècle: Le Maître des prélats bourguignons’, Etudes d’art français offertes à Charles Sterling (Paris, 1975), pp. 151–63
  • The Last Flowering: French Painting in Manuscripts 1420–1530 from American Collections (exh. cat. by J. Plummer and G. Clark, New York, Pierpont Morgan Lib., 1982), pp. 75–6, nos 97–8
  • R. S. Wieck: Late Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts, 1350–1525, in the Houghton Library (Cambridge, MA, 1983), pp. 36–7, no. 17
  • Le Livre au siècle de Rolin (exh. cat., Autun, Bib. Mun., 1985), pp. 45–9, nos 32–6

Bysta Master.

See under Arendtz, Cornelius.

Master of Cabestany

  • S. Moralejo

(fl c. 1130–80).

Sculptor, active in Italy, France and Spain. He is named after the tympanum representing the Assumption of the Virgin at Ste Marie, Cabestany (Roussillon). He worked in an idiosyncratic and expressive style, characterized by animated figures with stocky bodies, large hands and heads with distinctive features. His violent use of the drill is also characteristic of his work. He was a prolific sculptor and evidently had a long career, working over a large area; sculptures have been attributed to him in Catalonia (S Pere de Galligants, Girona; Sant Pere de Rodes (Sp. San Pedro de Roda), and Sant Esteve d’En Bas), Roussillon (Ste Marie, Cabestany, and Ste Marie, Le Boulou), Pays d’Aude (Saint-Papoul, Saint-Hilaire d’Aude, Lagrasse Abbey and the Assomption de Notre-Dame, at Rieux-Minervois), Tuscany (Sant’Antimo and S Giovanni, Sugana), and Navarre (Errondo and Villaveta). The variations in quality seen in these works (e.g. Lagrasse Abbey and Villaveta) have suggested that the Master had an associate, but this would be surprising in an artist whose work is remarkable for its consistency and discipline. It also seems unlikely that a workshop was involved, because the style of the sculpture is very individual.

A starting-point for the Master of Cabestany’s work may be the reliefs at St Pierre, La Réole (Gironde), and some capitals in S Caprais, Agen (Lot-et-Garonne), and Notre-Dame, Lescar (Basses-Pyrénées). He was also influenced by sculpture at Toulouse, but it was the Early Christian sarcophagi in St Feliú, Girona, which the Master would have known through his work in Sant Pere de Galligants (c. 1131), that radically transformed his work. With unusual antiquarian discernment he followed Late Antique models, from which derives his characteristic use of the drill. The influence of the Roda Bible (Paris, Bib. N., MS. lat. 6) may perhaps be detected in the capital at Saint-Papoul relating the punishment of Daniel’s accusers; the art of Catalonia was clearly also an important formative influence. The Master of Cabestany’s travels exemplify the general spread of influence from Toulouse. The importance of his work in Tuscany can be compared with that of the ‘proto-Renaissance’ sculpture of Biduino at S Cassiano, Settimo, near Pisa, but the iconography of the Master is more original. The Assumption of the Virgin on the tympanum at Cabestany is an early example of a Marian theme and includes the apocryphal motif of the Virgin’s girdle, venerated as a relic at Prato Cathedral (Tuscany). In the tympanum from Errondo (New York, Cloisters) the motif of Christus Victor derived from a sarcophagus in Girona is combined with the influence of exegetical texts that link the Temptations of Christ to his allegorical triumph, as sung in Psalm 90.


  • J. Gudiol: ‘Los relieves de la portada de Errondo y el maestro de Cabestany’, Príncipe de Viana, vol. 14 (1944), pp. 9–16
  • M. Durliat: ‘L’Oeuvre du maître de Cabestany’, Actes du congrès régional des fédérations historiques du Languedoc: Carcassone, 1952, pp. 185–93
  • M. Durliat: La Sculpture romane en Roussillon, vol. 4 (Perpignan, 1954)
  • J. Ainaud de Lasarte: ‘Noticias de San Pedro de Roda’, Revista de Gerona, vol. 5 (1959), pp. 33–5
  • E. Junyent: ‘L’Oeuvre du maître de Cabestany’, Actes du 96e congrès national des sociétés savantes, section d’archéologie: Montpellier, 1961, pp. 169–78
  • J. Raspi-Serra: ‘Contributo allo studio di alcune sculture dell’abbazia di Sant’Antimo’, Commentari, vol. 15 (1964), pp. 135–65
  • G. Zarnecki: ‘A Sculptured Head Attributed to the Maître de Cabestany’, Burlington Magazine, vol. 106 (1964), pp. 536–7
  • L. Pressouyre: ‘Une Nouvelle Oeuvre du ‘maître de Cabestany’ en Toscane: Le Pilier sculpté de San Giovanni in Sugana’, Bull. Soc. Nat. Antiqua. France (1969), pp. 30–55
  • C. Bargellini: ‘More Cabestany Master’, Burlington Magazine, vol. 112 (1970), pp. 140–44
  • M. Durliat: ‘Du Nouveau sur le maître de Cabestany’, Bulletin monumental, vol. 129 (1971), pp. 193–8
  • M. Durliat: ‘Le Maître de Cabestany’, Cahiers de Saint-Michel de Cuxa, vol. 4 (1973), pp. 116–27
  • J. Nougaret: ‘L’Oeuvre languedocien du maître du tympan de Cabestany’, Languedoc roman, Nuit Temps (La Pierre-qui-Vire, 1975), pp. 355–60
  • J. Gardelles: ‘L’Oeuvre du Maître de Cabestany et les reliefs du château de la Réole’, Bulletin monumental, vol. 134 (1976), pp. 231–7
  • V. Kupfer: ‘The Iconography of the Tympanum of the Temptation of Christ at the Cloisters’, Metropolitan Museum Journal, vol. 12 (1978), pp. 21–31
  • D. L. Simon: ‘Still More by the Cabestany Master’, Burlington Magazine, vol. 121 (1979), pp. 108–11
  • J. Barrachina: ‘Dos relleus fragmentaris de la portalada de Sant Pere de Rodes del mestre de Cabestany’, Quaderns d’estudis medievals, vol. 1 (1980), pp. 60–61
  • S. Moralejo: ‘La reutilización e influencia de los sarcófagos antiguos en la España medieval’, Colloquio sul reimpiego dei sarcofagi romani nel Medioevo: Pisa, 1982, pp. 187–203
  • S. Moralejo: ‘Artistas, patronos y público en el arte del Camino de Santiago’, Compostellanum, vol. 30 (1985), pp. 395–430 (402–5)
  • A. Milone: ‘El Maestro de Cabestany: Notas para un replanteamiento’, Romànic i la Mediterránial/El románico y el Mediterráneo: Cataluńa, Toulouse y Pisa, 1120–1180 (exh. cat., ed. M. Castińeiras and J. Camps; Barcelona, Mus. N. A. Catalunya, 2008), pp. 181–91

Master of the Cambrai Altarpiece.

See under Stockt [Stocht; Stoct], Vrancke van der.

Master of Canapost [Master of Seu d’Urgell]

  • Santiago Alcolea Blanch

(fl late 15th century).

Catalan painter. Although he has been known by two different names, his artistic personality is apparent in a small group of works: the altarpiece of the Virgin from S Esteve, Canapost, near Girona (Girona, Mus. A.); the paintings of the reliquary donated in 1496 by Bishop Berenguer de Pau (reg 1486–1506) to Girona Cathedral (Girona, Mus. Catedralici); the canvases decorating the organ shutters of Seu d’Urgell Cathedral (Barcelona, Mus. A. Catalunya; priv. cols); two sections (an Annunciation and a Penitent St Jerome) from an altarpiece from the chapel of Nostra Senyora de Gràcia, Puigcerdà (Barcelona, Mus. A. Catalunya); and the great altarpiece of the Trinity from the Loge de Mer in Perpignan, dated 1489 (Perpignan, Mus. Rigaud).

The provenances of these paintings suggest that the Master of Canapost worked mainly in the region between Girona and Perpignan. It is possible, however, that he may have been trained under Jean Fouquet at Tours, because Fouquet’s influence is apparent in his early works: compare, for example, the Virgin and Child in the altarpiece from S Esteve, Canapost, with Fouquet’s diptych of Etienne Chevalier of c. 1452 (Antwerp, Kon. Mus. S. Kst.; Berlin, Gemäldegal.). The development of the Master’s style, showing sound mastery of drawing and of the technique of oil painting, can be seen in such later works as the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, one of the canvases for the organ at Seu d’Urgell and the Penitent St Jerome from the altarpiece in Puigcerdà, in which the Master painted picturesque landscape scenery.


  • C. R. Post: A History of Spanish Painting (Cambridge, MA, 1930–66), vol. 6, pp. 7–10; vol. 7, pp. 35–9, 604–8; vol. 12, pp. 672–4, 681
  • M. Durliat: Arts anciens du Roussillon (Perpignan, 1954)
  • M. Durliat: ‘La Peinture à Perpignan autour de 1500’, Actes du 86ème congrès national des Sociétés savantes: Section d’archéologie: Montpellier, 1961, pp. 339–41
  • J. Gudiol and S. Alcolea Blanch: Pintura gótica catalana (Barcelona, 1986), pp. 200–01, nos 654–5
  • R. Cornudella: ‘El Mestre de la Llotja de Mar de Perpinyà (àlies Mestre de Canapost; àlies Mestre de la Seu d’Urgell)’, Locus Amoenus, vol. 8 (2004), pp. 137–69

Candlelight Master [Maître à la Chandelle]

  • Laurie G. Winters

(fl c. 1620–40).

French or Dutch painter, active in Rome. The identity and even the existence of this early Baroque painter have prompted much debate. In 1960 Benedict Nicolson attributed a stylistically coherent group of 39 unsigned and undated Caravaggesque night scenes to an anonymous painter he called the ‘Candlelight Master’; these works had been variously attributed to Gerrit van Honthorst, Matthias Stom, Georges de La Tour, and other followers of Caravaggio. Nicolson proposed that the Candlelight Master had been born c. 1600 in or around Aix-en-Provence and had been an apprentice in Utrecht before settling in Rome. In 1964 Nicolson and Jean Boyer independently identified the Candlelight Master as Trophime Bigot, a native of Aix, who lived in Rome in the 1620s and early 1630s, and further identified Bigot with the mysterious painter of nocturnes whom Joachim von Sandrart called ‘Trufemondi’.

This identification proved questionable, however. The paintings executed by Bigot in Rome between 1620 and 1634 are typically small, single-figure night scenes in the manner of Caravaggio, while those signed by Bigot in Provence after 1634 are larger, multiple-figure compositions in a late Mannerist style. Nicolson (1972) and Thuillier (1973) resolved this discrepancy by positing two Bigots: Bigot the elder (b 1579; d after 1649), who was responsible for the Provençal paintings, and Bigot the younger, resident in Rome 1620–34, who was responsible for the pictures that Nicolson had ascribed to the Candlelight Master. In 1979 Jean-Pierre Cuzin maintained that there was only one Trophime Bigot, who had worked both in Provence and Rome and had executed only those few Roman nocturnes that seemed closest in style to the Provençal works, while the remainder of the nocturnes belonged to the more prolific and competent Candlelight Master, whose identity might be linked to a certain ‘Mr Jacomo pittore’, named in the archives of S Maria in Aquiro as the painter of a work already believed to be by the Candlelight Master and an assistant.

In 1988 Jean Boyer published new documentary evidence that confirmed the existence of only one Bigot, who had been the author of the Provençal paintings and at least some of the Roman nocturnes. However, it is still not known whether Bigot and the Candlelight Master are the same artist or whether, as Cuzin proposed, they are two separate painters, most of the disputed works being attributable to the Candlelight Master. Even if the existence of the Candlelight Master is accepted, it is not known whether he was connected with ‘Maestro Jacomo’ or even whether he was French, as Nicolson believed, or Dutch, as suggested by the strong influence on his works of Honthorst, Stom and Adam de Coster (c. 1586–1643).

The Candlelight Master’s depictions of single or paired half-length figures illuminated by an artificial light constitute an independent persona among Caravaggio’s followers in Rome. The subjects are flea pickers, smokers, singers, doctors, and penitent saints, all dramatically illuminated by the flame of a candle or oil lamp as they perform simple tasks, such as pouring oil or singing. A superb example is the Young Boy Singing, in which a turbaned youth sings by the light of a suspended lamp, which illuminates his face and renders his sheet music translucent, so that several notes from the reverse side are visible in silhouette. Typical of the Candlelight Master’s works are exquisite light effects that simultaneously sculpt and dematerialize forms, as in the sharply articulated lamp bracket and the singer’s doughy hands. Such curious light effects are not, however, an end in themselves but a means of enhancing the figure’s contemplative state and the dreamlike atmosphere. Young Boy Singing is probably related to a series of four paintings in Rome that have similar subjects and bold lighting: Boy Singing, Young Girl Singing, Boy Holding a Bat, and Boy Pouring Oil into a Lamp (all c. 1620–35; Rome, Gal. Doria-Pamphili). These are among the Candlelight Master’s best works. His painting of a Doctor Examining a Sample of Urine (c. 1620–35; Oxford, Ashmolean) also stands out for its straightforward depiction of contemporary medical practice. The larger, more ambitious nocturnes of religious subjects credited to the same artist (e.g. St Sebastian Tended by St Irene, c. 1630–40; Bordeaux, Mus. B.-A.) are generally weaker and less inventive than his genre scenes. The Candlelight Master worked in a style that hovered between Honthorst and Georges de la Tour, and although he never attained their mastery he produced some of the finest luminist paintings of his day.


  • B. Nicolson: ‘The “Candlelight Master”: A Follower of Honthorst in Rome’, Nederlands(ch) kunsthistorisch jaarboek, vol. 11 (1960), pp. 121–64
  • J. Boyer: ‘Un Caravaggesque français oublié: Trophime Bigot’, Bulletin de la Société de l’histoire de l’art français (1964), pp. 35–51
  • J. Boyer: ‘Nouveaux Documents inédits sur le peintre Trophime Bigot’, Bulletin de la Société de l’histoire de l’art français (1964), pp. 153–8
  • B. Nicolson: ‘Un Caravagiste aixois: Le maître à la chandelle’, i) Art de France: Revue annuelle de l’art ancien et moderne, ii) Arts de France, vol. 4 (1964), pp. 117–39
  • B. Nicolson: ‘The Rehabilitation of Trophime Bigot’, Art and Literature, vol. 4 (1965), pp. 66–105
  • B. Nicolson: ‘Caravaggesques at Cleveland’, Burlington Magazine, vol. 114 (1972), pp. 113–7
  • J. Thuillier: Tout l’oeuvre peint de Georges de La Tour (Paris, 1973), p. 47
  • B. Nicolson: The International Caravaggesque Movement: Lists of Pictures by Caravaggio and his Followers throughout Europe from 1590 to 1650 (Oxford, 1978); rev. in 3 vols as Caravaggism in Europe, ed. L. Vertova (Turin, 1989), vol. 1, pp. 59–64 [rev. edn has excellent pls]
  • Le Peinture en Provence au XVIIe siècle (exh. cat., ed. H. Wytenhove; Marseille, Mus. B.-A., 1978), pp. 3–10 [Bigot text by Jacques Thuillier]
  • A. Blunt: ‘Trophime Bigot’, Burlington Magazine, vol. 121 (1979), p. 444
  • J.-P. Cuzin: ‘Trophime Bigot in Rome: A Suggestion’, Burlington Magazine, vol. 121 (1979), pp. 301–5
  • France in the Golden Age: Seventeenth-century French Painting in American Collections (exh. cat. by P. Rosenberg, Paris, Grand Pal.; New York, Met.; Chicago, IL, A. Inst.; 1982)
  • C. Del Bravo: Le riposte dell’arte (Florence, 1985)
  • P. Rosenberg and M. Stewart: French Painting, 1500–1825, San Francisco, CA, F.A. Museums Cat. (San Fransisco, 1987), pp. 41–3
  • J. Boyer: ‘The One and only Trophime Bigot’, Burlington Magazine, vol. 130 (1988), pp. 355–7

Master of the Cappella Medici Polyptych [Master of Terenzano]

  • Andrew Ladis

(fl c. 1315–35).

Italian painter. Identified in the 20th century and at first named the Master of Terenzano (Berenson), this painter is now named after a polyptych (c. 1320s) that originally stood in the Medici Chapel of Santa Croce in Florence. Its panels of half-length saints are now separated and occupy a secondary position as pinnacles for the altarpiece on the high altar of the same church. In his own day the artist must have held a respectable, if modest, position, forming part of a line of painters descended from the St Cecilia Master and Pacino di Bonaguida, whose work, although influenced by Giotto’s, stands in contrast to it. Although the painters of the so-called ‘miniaturist tendency’ (Offner) excelled at manuscript illustration, the Master of the Cappella Medici Polyptych is known only through a dozen panels, which include larger objects of some importance, for instance a Crucifix (Stuttgart, Staatsgal., 2635), as well as such small devotional works as the Virgin and Child Enthroned with Four Saints (Detroit, MI, Inst. A.), once the centre of a portable triptych. The limited evidence of these works perhaps fails to show his full range and talent but indicates that he was probably trained in Pacino’s workshop during the second decade of the century. The Master’s sweet, timid and doll-like figures reveal a kinship with the younger, more prolific and more important Master of the Dominican Effigies, with whom he was initially confused and may have collaborated. His debt to Giotto is evident in, for example, a Crucifixion (New York, Wildenstein’s) and Virgin Enthroned (Raleigh, NC Mus. A.), and from the 1320s the influence of Jacopo del Casentino and Bernardo Daddi can be seen also in such work as his Virgin and Child from the central panel of the Medici Chapel polyptych (in situ) and the Virgin and Child tabernacle (U. Würzburg, Wagner-Mus., 88). Unlike Bernardo, however, he was less successful in bridging the gap between a training that emphasized small-scale painting and the more monumental style of Giotto.


  • R. Offner and K. Steinweg: Corpus (1930–79), vol. 3/ii (1930), pt i, pp. 73–86, and vol. 3/vii (1957), pp. v, 83–92; rev. M. Boskovits, vol. 3/ii (1987), pp. 21–2, 356–80
  • B. Berenson: ‘Quadri senza casa: Il trecento fiorentino, I’, Dédalo, vol. 11 (1930–31), pp. 957–88 (978–82)
  • A. Ladis: ‘An Early Trecento Madonna Uncovered’, Antichità viva: Rassegna d’arte, vol. 22(1) (1983), pp. 5–10
  • M. Boskovits: Corpus (1984), pp. 54–5, 280–82

Master of Cappenberg.

See Baegert family, §2.

Carnation Masters [Berner Nelkemeister]

  • Brigitte Herrbach

(fl c. 1475–c. 1500).

Swiss painters. A series of altar paintings, produced mainly in Berne but also in Zurich, Fribourg, and Baden im Aargau, shows prominently placed carnations of several types: a pair of red and white carnations, a carnation with panicle, and a carnation with a stem of lavender. Although the carnations are generally seen as disguised signatures, they do not identify a single artist but seem to serve as an emblem for one or more painters’ brotherhoods. While in some cases the sign might also refer to the patron (Nägeli = Nelke = carnation), this is not the case for all.

The earliest and best of these works, a high-altarpiece depicting the Crucifixion (after 1480; Fribourg, Franziskanerkirche), clearly reveals a south Netherlandish training in the tradition of Rogier van der Weyden and has been distinguished (Moullet, Stange) from the work of other Carnation Masters as deriving from ‘the workshop of Bartholomäus Ruthenzweig’ (fl before 1480). The altarpiece was completed by Paul Löwensprung (fl c. 1475; d 1499), who was in Berne after 1493 and who also used a carnation signature on his works, such as his altar of the Virgin (c. 1490; ex-Barfüsserkirche, Basle; Basle, Kstmus.). Another artist with a carnation signature, and with a clear, simple style of picture composition, was the Master of the Berne Altarpiece of St John (fl c. 1490–1510; altarpiece c. 1490; ex-Dominikanerkirche, Berne; middle section untraced; wings, Berne, Kstmus.; Zurich, Ksthaus; Budapest, Mus. F.A.). A further Carnation Master, the Berne Master of St Beatus, is named after an altar wing depicting that saint (c. 1494; ex-Beatuskirche, Beatenberg; Sarnen, Heimatmus.). The Adoration of the Shepherds in the Kunsthaus, Zurich, signed with a carnation, may be by Hans Leu the elder.


  • P. Moullet: Les Maîtres à l’oeillet (Basle, 1943)
  • A. Stange: Die deutschen Tafelbilder vor Dürer, vol. 2 (Munich, 1970), pp. 77–80
  • C. Klemm: ‘Züricher Nelkenmeister: Enthauptung eines jugendlichen Heiligen’, Kunsthaus der Züricher Gesellschaft, Jahresbericht (1986), pp. 89–94

Master of the Carrand Triptych.

See Giovanni di Francesco.

Master of Castelló d’Empúries.

See §I, .

Master of the Castello Nativity

  • Anna Padoa Rizzo

(fl Florence, c. 1445–c. 1470/75).

Italian painter. He was named by Berenson (1913) after the Nativity (Florence, Accad.) that came from the Medici villa at Castello. There are no datable works by the Master, but the earliest attributable works indicate stylistically that he was probably a pupil of Fra Filippo Lippi and trained in his studio in Florence in the 1440s, before Lippi’s move to Prato. Although there is no definitive documentary evidence, Lachi (1995) has recently identified the Master as Piero di Lorenzo di Pratese (d 1487), who collaborated with Filippo Lippi and then became a partner of Pesellino.

The altarpiece of the Virgin and Child Enthroned with SS Justus and Clement (Prato, Mus. Opera Duomo) would appear to be an early work by the master, datable to the mid-15th century (Procacci). In its composition, drapery style and architectural setting it is heavily dependent on Lippi’s work of the 1440s; the figure of St Clement is derived from Lippi’s Annunciation (c. 1445; Munich, Alte Pin.). Two scenes from the Lives of SS Justus and Clement (Philadelphia, PA, Mus. A.) and a Nativity (London, N.G.) originally formed the predella of the altarpiece. The iconography of the Nativity is based on the Revelations of St Bridget, popular in Florence at this date, and shows the Virgin’s hands covered by a veil, a detail present in many of the Master’s devotional works.

The Master apparently collaborated with Lippi on the predella panel of the Nativity (Washington, DC, N.G.A.), which is usually considered to belong to the Munich Annunciation: the figure of St Joseph and the typology of the Christ Child, both characteristic of the Master, are almost identical with their counterparts in the London Nativity. Also stylistically close to the Prato Altarpiece is the Virgin of Humility with Two Musician Angels (Pisa, Mus. N. & Civ. S Matteo).

The Castello Nativity cannot, in fact, have been executed for the Medici villa at Castello since it appears in inventories only after 1610 (Shearman). In 1638, however, the coats of arms on the base of the altarpiece (now illegible) were recorded as being those of the Medici and the Tornabuoni families. It is presumed that it was made for Piero de’ Medici and his wife Lucrezia Tornabuoni. Certainly, the sumptuous decoration of the Virgin’s robe accords with Piero’s taste for ornate works of art, while the intense devotional aspect of the work—emphasized by the presence of the young Baptist and God the Father in a glory of seraphim—is consistent with Lucrezia’s fervent piety. The painting probably dates from c. 1460, contemporary with the work of Domenico Veneziano and with Lippi’s and Gozzoli’s decoration in the chapel of the Palazzo Medici, Florence. All these artists were favoured by Piero.

Master of the Castello Nativity, active about 1445–75: Portrait of a Woman, tempera and gold on canvas, transferred from wood, 15 3/4 x 10 3/4 in. (40 x 27.3 cm), probably 1450s (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Jules Bache Collection, 1949, Accession ID: 49.7.6); photo © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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The corpus of paintings attributed to the Master is frequently repetitive in subject-matter and composition, yet the works are carefully executed and probably catered for the demands of patrons who were, for the most part, educated as well as rich. This would seem to be confirmed by the existence of several portraits by the Master of apparently noble Florentine women, such as the Portrait of a Woman (New York, Met., 49.7.6), strongly influenced by Lippi, and another elegant and decorative female portrait (Boston, MA, Isabella Stewart Gardner Mus.). These portraits seem to date from the end of the Master’s career.


  • C. Gamba: ‘Due opere d’arte nella R. villa di Castello’, Ant. Viva., vol. 3 (1903), pp. 81–2
  • B. Berenson: Catalogue of Italian Paintings in the John G. Johnson Collection, Philadelphia, vol. 1 (Philadelphia, 1913), p. 17
  • B. Berenson: Italian Pictures of the Renaissance (Oxford, 1932), p. 343
  • U. Procacci: ‘Opere sconosciute d’arte toscana’, i) Rivista d’arte [prev. pubd as Misc A. ], ii) Rivista dell’arte [cont. as Bolaffi A.], vol. 17 (1935), pp. 405–11
  • M. Salmi: ‘Aggiunte al tre e al quattrocento fiorentino’, i) Rivista d’arte [prev. pubd as Misc A. ], ii) Rivista dell’arte [cont. as Bolaffi A.], vol. 17 (1935), pp. 411–21
  • M. Salmi: ‘Il Maestro della Natività di Castello’, Liburni civitas, vol. 2 (1938), pp. 217–56
  • B. Berenson: Florentine School (1963), vol. 1, pp. 141–2
  • M. Meiss: ‘A Lunette by Master of Castello Nativity’, Gazette des beaux-arts [suppl. is Chron. A.], vol. 70 (1967), pp. 213–18
  • F. Zeri and E. Gardner: The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Italian Paintings, Florentine School (New York, 1971), p. 114
  • Arte nell’aretino (exh. cat. by L. Boccia and others, Arezzo, S Francesco, 1974), pp. 91–2
  • E. Carli: Il Museo di Pisa (Pisa, 1974), pp. 97–8
  • G. Marchini: Filippo Lippi (Milan, 1975), pp. 119, 234–5
  • J. Shearman: ‘The Collection of the Younger Branch of the Medici’, Burlington Magazine, vol. 117 (1975), pp. 12–27 (16, 20)
  • F. Zeri: Italian Paintings in the Walters Art Gallery, vol. 1 (Baltimore, 1976), pp. 74–6
  • Early Italian Painting (exh. cat., London, Matthiesen F.A., 1983), pp. 57–8
  • C. Lachi: Il Maestro della Nativitá di Castello (Florence, 1995)
  • C. Lachi: ‘Il Maestro della Natività di Castello e i suoi rapporti con la scultura’, Critica d’arte, n. s. 8, vol. 61(1) (1999), pp. 39–53

Master of Catherine of Cleves

(fl ?Utrecht, c. 1435–60).

North Netherlandish illuminator. He was named for a manuscript that was for many years in the possession of the Duc d’Arenberg and was known as the Book of Hours of Catherine of Cleves because it includes a donor portrait of Catherine of Cleves, Duchess of Gelders.

1. The Book of Hours of Catherine of Cleves.

After World War I the manuscript was inaccessible, and for over 50 years research was dependent on a handful of photographs made in 1904. Nonetheless, the iconographic rarity and extraordinary artistic quality of the book’s decoration were recognized. In 1958 the manuscript entered the Guennol Collection in New York. Five years later the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York (now Morgan Library and Museum) acquired a fragment of a Book of Hours that had been in the collection of Baron Maurice de Rothschild in the 1930s. The comparison of this new acquisition and the fragment in the Guennol Collection revealed that these were not only by the same illuminator but were in fact matching parts of a single and extraordinarily richly decorated Book of Hours, which had been taken apart in the 19th century, when the sequence of the miniatures was disturbed. Plummer first reconstructed the original form of the volume. In 1970 the Pierpont Morgan Library acquired the other portion from the Guennol Collection, but the manuscript remains in two volumes (the Rothschild portion, MS. M. 917; the Arenberg/Guennol portion, MS. M. 945).

The Hours of Catherine of Cleves originally contained 168 miniatures, of which 11 are now lost. The large number results from a decorative scheme that allows a complete opening with a full-page miniature on the verso and a half-page miniature above the text on the facing recto to mark the beginning of each major office or prayer. In addition, each minor textual division is marked by a head-piece miniature. The unusually rich textual content of the book caused many of the peculiar iconographic aspects of the illustrations.

Each hour of the two most important offices, the Office of the Virgin and the Office of the Holy Cross, is decorated with two illustrations so that each office required a cycle of sixteen pictures. The opening miniature of the Office of the Virgin (see Plummer, no. 1) shows the owner of the book, Catherine, Duchess of Gelders, kneeling before the Virgin and Child in glory. Following this is a cycle from the Annunciation to Joachim (p 2) to the Assumption of the Virgin (p 15). The Office of the Holy Cross contains an elaborate cycle of the Passion with several rarely encountered scenes (p 16–31). The offices and masses connected with the days of the week follow. The texts for Friday constitute an exception: the Hours of the Holy Cross, which would be common at this place, had already been included at the beginning of the manuscript and were replaced by the Office of the Compassion of the Lord. This rare text is illustrated by scenes from the legend of the Tree of Mercy, the branch from the Tree of Life that was planted in the mouth of Adam and grew to provide the wood for the Cross of Christ (p 79–86). The mass appended is the usual Mass of the Holy Cross (p 87). The beginning of each office and mass is decorated with a full two-page opening, while the beginning of each hour within the offices has a head-piece miniature. These are followed by the Penitential Psalms and the Office of the Dead, which are introduced with a fully illustrated opening (p 98–100). The suffrages to the saints are illustrated by 57 (originally 61) head-piece miniatures (p 101–57), usually showing the standing saints with their attributes, or more rarely in a scene from their legend.

All the miniatures in the Hours of Catherine of Cleves are by the same painter. The Deposition (p 28) is related to the composition by the Master of Flémalle, known from a copy (Liverpool, Walker A.G.), and the detailed observation characteristic of early Netherlandish painting is also evident in these miniatures. The Master of Catherine of Cleves succeeded not only in introducing the achievements of panel painters into manuscript illumination but also in adding a new depth of human understanding to the realism found in panel paintings. He showed the Holy Family at their household chores (p 92 and p 149) or at a meal (p 93) with great sympathy; these scenes offer excellent information on the furnishing of domestic rooms in the 15th century. These paintings represent family life more directly than any others before the genre painting of the 17th century. This directness is characteristic of the scenes in the bas-de-page miniatures, as for example the baker at his work (p 111) or an innkeeper sampling his wine (p 110). Often these scenes relate to the miniature on the page and supplement or comment on the action represented there, sometimes humorously. For example, in the death scene a young dandy at the death bed appears again in the bas-de-page already helping himself from the chest containing the inheritance (p 41). The Master of Catherine of Cleves was also capable of gravity. In the fourth miniature of the Tree of Mercy cycle (p 82), the branch of the Tree of Life is shown growing through Adam’s shattered gravestone into a great tree that stands alone in a desolate, severe landscape with an evening sky tinted orange and yellow. The miniature is one of the earliest pure landscapes and is also striking for its strict geometrical composition and the intensity of its mood. The artist clearly wished to refer to the turning-point between the mercy denied to Adam and the plan of salvation in which the tree, as the wood of Christ’s cross, played a direct part.

The representations of the saints in the suffrages afforded no opportunity for such intensity, and the illuminator gave greater attention to the borders in this part of the book. Instead of ivy leaf and acanthus borders, a variety of objects are depicted with the care of a still-life, linked up or arranged in geometric forms around the text and miniature. On certain pages, objects such as a Paternoster (p 116), a collection of coins and medals (p 117), a piece of jewellery (p 147), or feathers (p 151) give the impression of resting on the parchment, an effect that corresponds to later trompe l’oeil painting. Often, however, the arrangements are fantastic or grotesque, such as a chain of fish swallowing each other’s tails (p 128) or an arrangement of mussels and a crab. There are a few early versions of such border decoration, as in the Très Riches Heures by the Limbourg brothers (Chantilly, Mus. Condé, MS. 65, fol. 168v), but the Book of Hours of Catherine of Cleves is unique in the variety of the objects represented. Its extravagant border decoration had an influence on later book painters in Ghent and Bruges, such as the Master of Mary of Burgundy and his followers. For an illustration see Calvary.

2. Dating and location.
  • Bodo Brinkmann

Since the portrait of Catherine of Cleves at the beginning of the book shows her coat of arms as Duchess of Gelders, the manuscript must date from after her marriage in 1430. The style of the miniatures, however, points to a slightly later date, c. 1440–45. Although some of the landscapes (e.g. p 4) partially reiterate formulae originating in Parisian illumination of c. 1400, others (e.g. p 16) are surprisingly progressive, with a low horizon and a convincing structure of hills, plains, and paths winding into a far distance. His figures act with remarkable freedom and have a surprising physical presence. Their plasticity is emphasized by strong highlighting, particularly in the flesh tones; the figures bend and move, sometimes quite dramatically. Draperies are rather sharply folded, underlining the figures’ movement, but often these develop a dynamic and spacious quality of their own.

The painting of 14 manuscripts has been attributed either wholly or in part to the Master of Catherine of Cleves. The earliest phase of his career is represented by a number of datable works including a Book of Hours dated 1438 (The Hague, Rijksmus. Meermanno-Westreenianum, MS. 10.E.1). The sketchlike execution, with very loose application of paint and visible brushstrokes, the pale colouring, awkward faces and dramatic movements give the 12 full-page miniatures of this manuscript a remarkably expressive quality. This is very unlike the later miniatures in the Hours of Catherine of Cleves, with their bright and varied palette and their firmly modelled surfaces. Other early works include 8 miniatures in the Hours of Kaetzaert van Zaer, dated 1439 (Leiden, Bib. Rijksuniv., MS. B.P.L.224), and the 7 finest pen drawings of the 117 that illustrate a historiated Bible, also of 1439 (Munich, Bayer. Staatsbib., MS. germ. 1102). Another Bible illustrated in the same technique (London, BL, Add. MS. 38122) contains a few drawings by the Master of Catherine of Cleves, but, whereas his drawing style in the Munich Bible is enlivened by a nervous, agitated, even shaky line, the pen drawings in the London manuscript suggest an effort to achieve a painterly effect through the use of finely nuanced hatching and consequently have been dated much later. Both Bibles were made for members of the Lokhorst family of Utrecht. Calkins identified the hand of the Master of Catherine of Cleves in six historiated initials, a miniature and a border in the Greiffenclau Missal (Baltimore, MD, Walters A. Mus., MS. W. 174). Since the principal painter of the Missal is the Master of Zweder van Culemborg, it is assumed that the Master of Catherine of Cleves was connected with and perhaps even trained in this workshop.

The Master of Catherine of Cleves probably painted the nine full-page miniatures in the Hours of Katharina von Lokhorst (Münster, Westfäl. Landesmus., MS. 530), perhaps c. 1448, the year of the marriage of the owner and shortly after the artist’s masterpiece, the Hours of Catherine of Cleves. The Hours of the Burggraf Willem van Montfort, Provost and Archdeacon of Utrecht Cathedral (Vienna, Österreich. Nbib., Cod. s.n. 12878), must have been completed c. 1450, as its astronomical tables begin in this year. The borders are without parallel in other manuscripts decorated by the Master of Catherine of Cleves, and only 3 of the 23 miniatures were painted by him. The others are in the style associated with Willem Vrelant. In this case it is possible that the Master delivered only three individual folios to the workshop responsible for the rest of the book. The Pontifical from Onze-Lieve-Vrouw, Utrecht (Utrecht, Bib. Rijksuniv., Hs. 400), is of similar date and is notable for the genre-like representations of craftsmen at work in the borders. The historiated initial ‘I’ in the first volume of a Bible (Brussels, Bib. Royale Albert 1er, MS. 9158–9167), commissioned by Abbot Henri de Cherauz for his monastery of St Lawrence near Liège in 1456, has been identified as an important late work (Scillia). The three surviving miniatures as well as the borders in the front section of a Book of Hours (The Hague, Rijksmus. Meermanno-Westreenianum, MS. 10.F.50), probably painted for another member of the Lokhorst family, are by the Master of Catherine of Cleves. The border decoration of the later part of this Book of Hours is by another illuminator identified by Boon as Philippe de Mazerolles. Such close collaboration with the Master of Catherine of Cleves suggests that Mazerolles was then a member of his workshop. The works from this latest phase often look somewhat mannered, with a monotonous repetition of sharp rectangular drapery folds.

Although the Master may have been itinerant for a period, both his patrons and the artists with whom he collaborated suggest that his workshop was in Utrecht. This would most easily explain his relationship to later Flemish manuscript illumination, for the influence of Utrecht illumination in Flanders is clearly documented.


  • K. G. Boon: ‘Nieuwe gegevens over de Meester van Katharina van Kleef en zijn atelier’ [New information on the Master of Catherine of Cleves and his workshop], Bulletin van de Koninklijke Nederlandse oudheidkundige bond [cont. as Oudhdknd. Jb.; Bull. Ned. Oudhdknd. Bond; Kon. Ned. Oudhdknd. Bond: Bull. KNOB], n. s. 6, vol. 17 (1964), cols 241–54
  • P. Pieper and others: ‘Das Stundenbuch der Katharina von Lochorst und der Meister der Katharina von Kleve’, Westfalen: Hefte für Geschichte, Kunst und Volkskunde, vol. 44(2) (1966), pp. 97–164 [issue ded. to exh. cat., Münster, Westfäl. Landesmus., 1966]
  • J. Plummer, ed.: The Hours of Catherine of Cleves (New York, 1966) [partial facs. with reproductions of all miniatures and a selection of text pp.] [p]
  • L. M. J. Delaissé: A Century of Dutch Manuscript Illumination (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1968), pp. 28–30, 32, 37–41, 81–6
  • F. Gorissen: Das Stundenbuch der Katharina von Kleve: Analyse und Kommentar (Berlin, 1973) [commentary vol. suppl. Plummer, 1966]
  • R. G. Calkins: ‘Parallels between Incunabula and Manuscripts from the Circle of the Master of Catherine of Cleves’, Oud-Holland, vol. 92 (1978), pp. 137–60
  • D. G. Scillia: ‘A Late Work from the Circle of the Master of Catherine of Cleves’, Oud-Holland, vol. 92 (1978), pp. 1–6
  • R. G. Calkins: ‘Distribution of Labor: The Illuminators of the Hours of Catherine of Cleves and their Workshop’, Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 69(5) (1979), pp. 3–83
  • R. G. Calkins: ‘The Question of the Origins of the Master of Catherine of Cleves’, Masters and Miniatures: Proceedings of the Congress on Medieval Manuscript Illumination in the Northern Netherlands: Utrecht, 1989, pp. 327–34
  • J. H. Marrow: A Descriptive and Analytical Catalogue of Dutch Illustrated Manuscripts of the 14th, 15th and 16th Centuries, 2 vols (Doornspijk, 1990)
  • A. M. Koldewey: ‘Pilgrim Badges Painted in Manuscripts: A North Netherlandish Example’, Masters and Miniatures: Proceedings of the Congress on Medieval Manuscript Illumination in the Northern Netherlands: Utrecht, 1989, pp. 211–18
  • J. Koldeweij: ‘In middeleeuwse handschriften geschilderde pelgrimstekens: Een voorbeeld uit de noordelijke Nederlanden’, Millennium, vol. 6(2) (1992), pp. 99–110
  • M. Kupstas: ‘“The Monster, Death, Becomes Pregnant”: Images of Hell and the Virgin in the Hours of Catherine of Cleves’, Chicago Art Journal, vol. 3(1) (Spring 1993), pp. 1–8
  • S. Buck: ‘Petrus Christus’s Berlin Wings and the Metropolitan Museum’s Eyckian Diptych’, Petrus Christus in the Renaissance Bruges: An Interdisciplinary Approach, (New York, 1994) pp. 65–83
  • C. Beier: ‘Buchmalerei in Trier am Anfang des 16. Jahrhunderts: Das Graduale Nr 463a und b im Bistumsarchiv Trier’, Kurtrierisches Jahrbuch, vol. 36 (1996), pp. 89–121
  • B. Bousmanne: Item à Guillaume Wyelant aussi enlumineur: Willem Vrelant: Un aspect de l’enluminure dans les Pays-Bas méridionaux sous le mécénat des ducs de Bourgogne, Philippe le Bon et Charles le Téméraire (Brussels, 1997)
  • W. C. M. Wüstefeld: ‘Manuscript Painting in the Circle of the Master of Catherine of Cleves (ca. 1435–60: Tradition and Context of Utrecht, Museum Catharinjneconvent, Ms. ABM h15’, Tributes in Honor of James H. Marrow: Studies in Painting and Manuscript of Illumination of the Late Middle Ages and Northern Renaissance, ed. J. Hamburger and A. Korteweg (London and Turnhout, 2006), pp. 585–99
  • Das Stundenbuch der Katharina von Kleve (Gütersloh and Munich, 2009) [facs.]
  • R. Dückers, ed.: The Hours of Catherine of Cleves: Devotion, Demons and Daily Life in the Fifteenth Century (Antwerp, 2009)
  • The Hours of Catherine of Cleves: Devotion, Demons, and Daily Life in the Fifteenth Century (exh. cat., New York, Morgan Lib. & Mus., 2009)

Master of the Cellini Madonna.

See under Bassante, Bartolomeo.

Cesi Master

  • Dillian Gordon

(fl 1308).

Italian painter. He was named by Garrison after a dossal now in S Maria, Cesi, in Umbria, dated by inscription to 1308. It shows the Virgin and Child Enthroned with a kneeling female donor named in the inscription as Domina Elena; on either side are two registers of small-scale standing saints and two angels swinging censers. The panels of a large rectangular triptych, now arranged as a pair of doors (Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Villa–Mus. Ile de France, Fond. de Rothschild), showing scenes from the Life of the Virgin, have also been attributed to the Master. The centre panel, the Assumption of the Virgin, has the distinctive Umbrian iconography of the Virgin leaning her head and arm on Christ’s shoulder. Small narrative scenes from the Life and Death of the Virgin are on the wings. The triptych is probably identifiable with one seen in the Convento della Passione, Spoleto, in the 19th century and probably painted for Spoleto Cathedral. The Cesi Master was active in the region around Spoleto, and a painted Crucifix (Spoleto, Pin. Com.) is also attributed to him. This is unusual in that it shows the living Christ crucified with only three nails. A fragmentary rectangular dossal from S Maria, Ponte, near Spoleto, is sometimes attributed to him. It shows Christ in Majesty within a mandorla supported by five roundels containing the four Evangelist Symbols and an Agnus Dei; on either side are two registers with small-scale standing saints and censer-swinging angels, and the remains of an Annunciation and Nativity. Works by the Cesi Master show the influence of the Roman Master (fl c. 1260–80) at Assisi, and a Roman origin under the influence of Pietro Cavallini has been suggested (Longhi). His works contain many iconographical echoes of the frescoes of S Francesco, Assisi, for example the St Nicholas Chapel in the Lower Church and the stylistic influence of the St Cecilia Master in the Upper Church. He was also much influenced by earlier local painters such as Simeone and Machilone da Spoleto (fl 1230–57).


  • E. B. Garrison: Italian Romanesque Panel Painting: An Illustrated Index (Florence, 1949), p. 14
  • R. Longhi: ‘Un dossale italiano a Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat’, Paragone, vol. 12(141) (1961), pp. 11–19
  • M. Meiss: ‘Reflections of Assisi: A Tabernacle and the Cesi Master’, Scritti di storia dell’arte in onore di Mario Salmi, vol. 2 (Rome, 1962), pp. 75–111
  • F. Todini: La pittura umbra dal duecento al primo cinquecento (Milan, 1989), vol. 1, p. 114; vol. 2, pp. 127–9
  • L. Mortari: ‘A proposito di due croci umbre trecentesche in Sabina’, Scritti di archeologia e storia dell’arte in onore di Carlo Pietrangeli, ed. V. Casale, F. Coarelli, and B. Toscano (Rome, 1995)
  • M. A. Lavin: ‘The “Stella” Altarpiece”: Magnum Opus of the Cesi Master’, Artibus et historiae, vol. 44 (2001), pp. 9–22

Master of Chaource

  • Philippe Rouillard

(fl c. 1510–30).

French sculptor. He worked in the Champagne region, near Troyes. Koechlin and Marquet de Vasselot named him the Master of St Martha, after a celebrated stone statue of St Martha in the church of La Madeleine, Troyes. The serenity of this figure, its seriousness of expression and the fluidity of its draperies made an original departure from the stiffness of Late Gothic sculpture. Devaux (1956) identified similar characteristics in the Entombment (Chaource, St Jean-Baptiste), a stone group produced in 1515 for Nicolas de Moustier, Captain of Chaource; he consequently named the artist the Master of Chaource. the Entombment is among the most poignant examples of the genre. It still conforms to the Gothic tradition, but, in the grouping of the figures and their naturalness of movement and gesture, the sculptor has introduced a new expressiveness and a dramatic tension. The sober and statuesque style and the distinctive facial type, with flat planes of the forehead, cheeks, and chin, are found in a number of other examples of sculpture from this period, such as the Pietà in St Jean, Troyes, and two groups of Donors with Saints (Troyes, St Nicolas). The composition of the Entombment and Deposition in the church of Villeneuve-L’Archevêque, which came from the Cistercian abbey of Vauluisant, clearly shows the influence of Italian examples, while the two Holy Women (New York, Cloisters) may be the work of a follower. The work of the Master of Chaource shows the persistence of the Gothic spirit, while more decorative, emphatic and mannered tendencies were gradually developing. Devaux (1959 and 1970) has proposed that the Master of Chaource may have been Nicolas Halins (fl 1502/3–41).


  • R. Koechlin and J.-J. Marquet de Vasselot: La Sculpture à Troyes et dans La Champagne méridionale au seizième siècle: Etude sur la transition de l’art gothique à l’italianisme (Paris, 1900), pp. 96–110
  • L. Morillot: Une Belle Statue de l’eglise de la Madeleine à Troyes, son identification (Dijon, 1904)
  • E. Devaux: Le Maître de Chaource (St Léger-Vauban, 1956) [photographs]
  • R. Devaux: ‘Suite à Chaource’, Zodiaque, vol. 40 (1959)
  • R. Devaux: ‘2e suite à Chaource’, Zodiaque, vol. 84 (1970)
  • W. H. Forsyth: The Entombment of Christ: French Sculptures of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries (Cambridge, MA, 1970)
  • Vie en Champagne, vol. 309 (1981) [issue dedicated to Troyes sculpture]
  • C. Avery: Studies in European Sculpture, vol. 2 (London, 1988), pp. 103–35 (130–31)

Master of Charles VIII.

See Perréal, Jean.

Master of Charles of Angoulême.

See Testard, Robinet.

Master of Charles of France

  • Patrick M. de Winter

(fl c. 1455–75).

French illuminator. His chief work is in a Book of Hours (Paris, Bib. Mazarine, MS. 473) produced for Charles, Duc de Berry, younger brother of King Louis XI. The artist was a follower of Jean Fouquet, whose stage settings he adapted with inventive trompe l’oeil effects. In all probability the master is to be identified with Jean de Laval, recorded in Charles’s accounts. Overpainted heraldry suggests that the Mazarine Hours were begun in 1465 for Louis, Bâtard de Bourbon, and Joanna of Valois, a natural daughter of Louis XI. The manuscript was then continued for Charles of France, with special impetus in the campaign to mark his induction as Duke of Normandy that year. The book was planned with an ambitious programme, but many of its illustrations were not carried out beyond the drawing stage. The most elaborate composition is on an excised double folio (1465; New York, Cloisters, 58.71 a–b). Here, the facing sides form a diptych of the Annunciation set before the portal of a church with profuse sculptural decoration outlined in white and gleaming in various shades of gold, as if a huge shrine. Behind is a landscape in which figure prominently the castle of Mehun-sur-Yèvre and an unusual procession of angels descending from Heaven. On the verso of the second folio, the text and its historiated initial are framed to give the illusion of a panel suspended from a chain in the interior of a portal before the Visitation set in a landscape. The artist’s tableaux are generally banal, but he is distinguished by some surprising effects, which were largely carried out on the frames: in one miniature of the Mazarine manuscript, the Journey to Bethlehem (fol. 72 bis), the wide panoramic landscape is framed by borders depicting sentries in full armour; in another, the Nativity (fol. 85v), the framing device comprises an aviary on which perch magnificent peacocks. Also characteristic of this artist are the round faces of his figures, rather puffed out, with high foreheads and eyes that seem half open.

A modest corpus of miniatures has been attributed to the Master of Charles of France. His early work is represented by an Annunciation of c. 1455 in a Book of Hours (Stonyhurst Coll., Lancs, MS. 38, fol. 40), and a Psalter–Hours (New York, Morgan Lib. & Mus., MS. M. 67) of c. 1455–60. His mature style is exemplified by the miniatures in a Romuléon made in 1461 for Charles of France (Coligny, Fond. Martin Bodmer, MS. 143), with one of the compositions incorporating a close rendering of Fouquet’s portrait of King Charles VII (Paris, Louvre); a copy of works by Seneca and Cicero (St Petersburg, Rus. N. Lib., MS. fr. F.v.III, 1); and Charles’s Hours. The artist’s late style is represented by the Vierge aux fleurs, added to a Book of Hours (The Hague, Kon. Bib., MS. 74), and probably by the Hours of Marguerite of Rohan, widow of Jean d’Orléans, Comte d’Angoulême (c. 1475; Princeton U., NJ, Lib., Garrett MS. 55), in which compositions have become more tightly controlled.


  • L. Delisle: ‘Un Feuillet des Heures de Charles, frère de Louis XI’, Manuscrit: Revue de documents-manuscrits, vol. 1(2) (1894), pp. 147–8
  • H. Stein: Charles de France, frère de Louis XI (Paris, 1919)
  • M. B. Freeman: ‘The Annunciation from a Book of Hours for Charles of France’, Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, n. s., vol. 19 (1960–61), pp. 105–18
  • The Last Flowering: French Painting in Manuscripts, 1420–1530 (exh. cat. by J. Plummer, New York, Pierpont Morgan Lib., 1982)

Chief Associate of Maître François.

See §I, .

Master of the Chiostro degli Aranci.

See Giovanni di Consalvo.

Master of the Church Sermon.

See Aertgen van Leyden.

Master of the Cité des Dames

  • Margaret M. Manion

(fl c. 1400–15).

Illuminator, active in Paris. One of the most prolific illuminators in Paris during the first two decades of the 15th century, he was named by Meiss after the five or more copies of Christine de Pizan’s Cité des dames illustrated by him and his workshop. His early work is closely related to that of Jacquemart de Hesdin, with whom he executed the Barcelona Hours (c. 1401; Barcelona, Bib. Central, MS. 1850). Both artists used the same Italianate method of modelling flesh tones with green underpaint, and many of Jacquemart’s figures and compositions were adopted by the Master of the Cité des Dames. Although the Italian elements in his work are pronounced, Sterling argued that he came from the Netherlands, drawing particular attention to the artist’s evocation of realistic detail in scenes of domestic and city life, his innovative treatment of landscape and his distinctive rendering of interior space and architectural settings.

The first illustrations for the Cité des dames, which appeared in 1405, seem to have been composed by the Master under the direction of Christine herself, and all the copies from his workshop follow the same model. The opening miniature (Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 607, fol. 2r) demonstrates how key concepts of the author’s text are given effective visual expression. The composition is divided into two sections: in the interior on the left, Christine stands behind a table on which are displayed both open and closed books. Reading has fuelled her frustration at not having been born a man, a frustration that she communicates to Droiture, Raison, and Justice who present themselves before her. The static nature of this scene, in which figures and objects are crowded into a relatively small internal space, emphasizes the author’s mood. By contrast, on the right, in an expansive exterior, Christine, assisted by Raison, has already begun to build the walls of the City of Women. The energetic activity of ‘bricklaying’, in which the two female figures are engaged, tellingly emphasizes the allegorical theme of the book—the construction of an enduring edifice, indeed a whole city, out of eminent deeds accomplished by women.

The Cité des Dames Master collaborated with other Parisian illuminators and workshops, and the influence of the Boucicaut Master, which became increasingly marked in his work, was probably the result of such collaboration. For example his striking frontispiece for the Works of Christine de Pisan (London, BL, Harley MS. 4431, fol. 2r; for illustration see Christine de Pizan), presented to Isabeau of Bavaria c. 1412–15, is clearly influenced by the Boucicaut Master’s dedication miniature in the second version of Pierre Salmon’s Réponses de Pierre Salmon (after 1411; Geneva, Bib. Pub. & U., MS. fr. 165, fol. 4r; see §I, ); the artists had collaborated on an earlier edition of the Réponses. The remarkable representation of space in the frontispiece to the Works has been analysed (White) and, in certain elements, the influence of 14th-century Italian artists such as Maso di Banco and Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti discerned; but the northern illuminator’s distinctive handling of colour has also been noted (Sterling). On either side of the room, beds draped in red create a powerful impression of movement into depth, while the semicircle of seated women behind the kneeling Christine helps to preserve the surface cohesion of the composition. The setting of the presentation scene in a royal bedchamber, together with such details as the open shutters on the rear wall and the framing diaphragm arch, are derived from the Boucicaut Master.

The spacious settings for many of the compositions of the Cité des Dames Master have prompted comparisons with monumental wall painting. While his landscapes are sometimes based on rather archaic patterns, they convincingly convey the sense of an extensive terrain and are enlivened by the rendering of closely observed detail or the presentation of events from unusual angles. Windswept clouds fill the sky in an illlustration of the countryside in Salmon’s Réponses (c. 1409; Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 23279, fol. 69r); and the Death of Queen Brunehilde in Boccaccio’s Des Cas des nobles femmes (c. 1415; Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 16994, fol. 307r) is presented with striking immediacy through a close-up bird’s-eye view of a city street, which includes not only the queen’s demise but also a glimpse of the disturbed citizens, who witness the event from the doorways of their houses.

The Cité des Dames Master was responsible for the supervision and organization of a large workshop, which specialized in the illumination of historical, romantic and allegorical texts, many of which were secular in nature. These included the Grandes Chroniques de France, French translations of Livy and Boccaccio, and several other writings of Christine de Pizan. Hindman and Hedeman have argued that the notable ability of this team to render accurately such details as contemporary dress, settings and ceremonial was an important factor in their popularity. The learned advisers responsible for drawing up extensive visual programmes often exploited these talents to provide a contemporary political or moral gloss on a particular historical or allegorical text.


  • M. Meiss: ‘The Exhibition of French Manuscripts of the XIII–XVI Centuries at the Bibliothèque Nationale’, Art Bulletin, vol. 38 (1956), pp. 187–96
  • M. Meiss: French Painting in the Time of Jean de Berry: The Late XIV Century and the Patronage of the Duke, 2 vols (London and New York, 1967, rev. 1969)
  • J. White: The Birth and Rebirth of Pictorial Space (London, 1967)
  • M. Meiss with K. Morand and E. W. Kirsch: French Painting in the Time of Jean de Berry: The Boucicaut Master (London and New York, 1968)
  • M. Meiss with S. O. Smith and E. Beatson: French Painting in the Time of Jean de Berry: The Limbourgs and their Contemporaries, 2 vols (New York and London, 1974)
  • P. de Winter: ‘Christine de Pizan, ses enlumineurs et ses rapports avec le milieu bourguignon’, Actes du 104e congrès national des sociétés savantes: Paris, 1979, pp. 335–75
  • S. L. Hindman: Christine de Pizan’s ‘Epistre Othea’: Painting and Politics at the Court of Charles VI (Toronto, 1986), pp. 16, 63, 69, 73, 97
  • C. Sterling: La Peinture médiévale à Paris, 1300–1500, vol. 1 (Paris, 1987), pp. 286–95
  • A. D. Hedeman: The Royal Image: Illustration of the Grandes Chroniques de France, 1274–1422 (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1991), pp. 153–77
  • B. Roux: Les Dialogues de Salmon et Charles VI: Images du pouvoir et enjeux politiques (Geneva, 1998)
  • J. Kubiski: ‘Orientalizing Costume in Early Fifteenth-century French Manuscript Painting (Cité des Dames Master, Limbourg Brothers, Boucicaut Master, and Bedford Master)’, Gesta, vol. 40(2) (2001), pp. 161–80

Master of Città di Castello

  • H. B. J. Maginnis

(fl c. 1305–20).

Italian painter. He is named after the Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints (Città di Castello, Pin. Com.), which may derive from a lost composition by Duccio di Buoninsegna. The painting is the earliest work of a corpus that also includes a dismembered polyptych of the Virgin and Child (Siena, Mus. Opera Duomo, 24) and SS Augustine, Paul, Peter, and Anthony Abbot (Siena, Pin. N., 29–32); a polyptych of the Virgin and Child with SS Francis, John the Evangelist, Stephen, and Chiara (Siena, Pin. N., 33); and a third altarpiece composed of a Virgin and Child (Copenhagen, Stat. Mus. Kst), St Peter, and St John the Baptist (New Haven, CT, Yale U. A.G., 1943. 242 and 1943. 243), as well as a St Francis (ex-Lanckoronski priv. col., Vienna). A Virgin and Child in Detroit (Detroit, MI, Inst. A., 24.96) is a closely related shop work. Although inclined to borrow heavily from Duccio and perhaps also from Segna di Bonaventura and Ugolino di Nerio, the Master had a distinctive style rooted in late 13th-century Sienese painting, and his works continued to reflect these origins well into the second decade of the 14th century. He was an interesting colourist, with a preference for subtle variations and pale hues, but his work had little impact on a younger generation in Siena.


  • C. Brandi: Duccio (Florence, 1951), pp. 148–50
  • P. Torriti: La Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena: Dipinti dal XII al XV secolo (Genoa, 1977), pp. 66–8
  • J. Stubblebine: Duccio di Buoninsegna and his School, vol. 1 (Princeton, 1979), pp. 85–9
  • G. Freuler: ‘Duccio et ses contemporains: Le Maître de Città di Castello’, Revue de l’art, vol. 134 (2001), pp. 27–50

Master of the Cloisters Unicorn.

See §I, .

Master of the Coburg Roundels [Master of the Drapery Studies]

  • Michael Roth

(fl Strasbourg, c. 1470–1500).

German draughtsman and painter. His name derives from two sketches for roundels (c. 1485; Coburg, Veste Coburg), considered to be cornerstones of his stylistic development. He is also known as the Master of the Drapery Studies because many of his works are detailed studies of the folds of clothing (sleeves, loincloths) or of whole garments. He is attributed with about 180 sheets (notably Coburg, Veste Coburg; Berlin, Kupferstichkab.; Madrid, Bib. N.; Paris, Louvre), most of them covered on both sides, one of the largest groups of drawings attributed to an artist of the pre-Dürer era. As there are several drawings after Strasbourg stained glass paintings of c. 1460, it has been suggested (Wentzel, Rott, Andersson) that the draughtsman was a designer in a glass-painting workshop; since some show similarities to products of workshops within the sphere of Peter Hemmel von Andlau, one window design might be attributable (Anzelewsky) to this leading master of the Strasbourg glass-painting industry, by whom the Master may have been employed (Fischel).

The Master’s drawings also include studies of works from the Netherlands or Cologne, of paintings, sculptures, and plans for altars. Opinions vary considerably as to the chronological order of the sheets. Buchner (1927) considered that he was stylistically indebted to the Housebook Master and that he was active in the Middle Rhine area; Fischel (1933–4) added further panels and some mural fragments to his oeuvre, contending that he was trained under the Strasbourg Master of the Karlsruhe Passion. The principal paintings comprise ten panels of a Passion cycle (1488; Strasbourg, St Pierre-le-Vieux) and a similar Passion (1490s: Mainz, Landesmus.), a Trinity (Lyon), sections of an altar of St Mary Magdalene (before 1490; Karlsruhe, Staatl. Ksthalle; San Francisco, CA, de Young Mem. Mus.) and altar wings showing the Legend of St Margaret (1490s; Dijon, Mus. B.-A.; priv. cols). There are also a few individual panels depicting saints (1490s; Strasbourg, Mus. Oeuvre Notre-Dame).


  • E. Buchner: ‘Studien zur mittelrheinischen Malerei und Graphik der Spätgotik und Renaissance, III. Der Meister der Coburger Rundblätter’, Münchner Jahrbuch der bildenden Kunst, n. s. 1, vol. 4 (1927), pp. 284–300
  • F. Winkler: ‘Skizzenbücher eines unbekannten rheinischen Meisters um 1500’, Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch, n. s. I, vol. 6 (1930), pp. 123–52
  • L. Fischel: ‘Die Heimat des “Meisters der Coburger Rundblätter” (Studien in der altdeutschen Abteilung der Badischen Kunsthalle, ii)’, Oberrheinische Kunst, vol. 6 (c. 1933–4), pp. 27–40
  • L. Fischel: ‘Der Meister der Karlsruher Passion; sein verschollenes Oeuvre (Studien in der altdeutschen Abteilung der Badischen Kunsthalle, iii)’, Oberrheinische Kunst, vol. 6 (c. 1933–4), pp. 41–60
  • H. Rott: Quellen und Forschungen zur südwestdeutschen und schweizerischen Kunstgeschichte im XV. und XVI. Jahrhundert. III. Der Oberrhein (Stuttgart, 1937), pp. 73–9, nos 34–8
  • H. Wentzel: ‘Glasmaler und Maler im Mittelalter’, Zeitschrift des deutschen Vereins für Kunstwissenschaft [prev. pubd as Z. Kstwiss.; reverts to Z. Dt. Ver. Kstwiss.], vol. 3 (1949), pp. 53–62 (61)
  • L. Fischel: Die Karlsruher Passion und ihr Meister (Karlsruhe, 1952), pp. 31f, 62f
  • F. Anzelewsky: ‘Peter Hemmel und der Meister der Gewandstudien’, Zeitschrift des deutschen Vereins für Kunstwissenschaft [prev. pubd as Z. Kstwiss.; reverts to Z. Dt. Ver. Kstwiss.], vol. 28 (1964), pp. 43–53
  • From a Mighty Fortress (exh. cat., ed. C. Andersson and C. Talbot; Detroit, MI, Inst. A.; Ottawa, N.G.; Coburg, Veste Coburg; 1981–2), pp. 108–44; pp. 388–93 (C. Andersson: ‘Excursus: The Master of the Coburg Roundels’); nos 28–44

Master of the Codex Coburgensis

  • Richard Harprath

(fl 1550–55).

Italian draughtsman. He executed a collection of 282 drawings of antiquities, with a preponderance of reliefs, which was acquired on the Roman art market in 1870 and 1872 by the Frankfurt dealer Jacob Gerson (1821–1903), Consul General for Saxony, and presented by him to Duke Ernst II of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (reg 1844–93) as a gift. It has since been known as the Codex Coburgensis, although it is a portfolio, and is today housed in the Kupferstichkabinett der Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg, Coburg (inv. no. Hz 2). Little is known of its history before its acquisition by Gerson; however, watermarks on the paper of the drawings and the locations where the antiquities depicted were earlier preserved both indicate a mid-16th-century origin in Rome and its neighbourhood. It is likely that the collection of drawings was commissioned by Cardinal Marcello Cervini (1501–55), who reigned as Pope Marcellus II for a few days in 1555. He was a great scholar, with an interest in the study of antiquity, who is known to have commissioned editions of antique inscriptions and illustrated works on antique sculpture in connection with the foundation of a Vitruvian academy. The dates of discovery of some of the antiquities depicted in the Codex Coburgensis suggest that the work was undertaken towards the end of his life.

Although the sequence of the drawings was wholly disarranged before Gerson’s acquisition of the collection, traces of earlier display and ensuing neglect (before 1806) allow certain conclusions about the original arrangement of the contents. These are confirmed by the Codex Pighianus in the Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz in Berlin (MS. Lat. 2° 61), which contains a partial, later expanded copy of the Codex Coburgensis, with 172 of its drawings and also 50 sheets bearing copies of originals lost from the Codex Coburgensis. Further evidence suggests that the Coburg collection formerly consisted of considerably more than 300 sheets. It was originally arranged in chapters on genealogies of gods, astronomy and calendrical lore, heroic mythology, death and sacrificial ritual, insignia of office, and circus shows. Thus the Codex Coburgensis may be called the first, systematically presented work of archaeological illustration, long predating Johann Joachim Winckelmann.

There has hitherto been no actual certainty concerning the identity of the artist, or several artists, who executed the drawings of the Codex Coburgensis. Examination of the state of preservation of the drawings, very variable in parts, has led to the conclusion that with five exceptions they are all by the same hand. No further drawings by the artist of the Codex Coburgensis have been found elsewhere, other than four contained in the Codex Pighianus, probably placed there in error during the process of copying; hence the name of Master of the Codex Coburgensis must suffice as the artist’s designation.

This master is distinguished from all other Renaissance artists who drew antiquities by his understanding of archaeology and stylistic closeness to his models; he is pre-eminent above all in the faithfulness with which he records the state of preservation of his originals and in his rendering of exact detail. His regular procedure was first to depict an object precisely in black chalk and then to execute the drawing with a pen in brown ink, adding grey wash with a brush. The light always falls from above left to below right, proof that the drawings were executed in a workshop, with a theoretical and didactic purpose in mind. Free relief background to the objects depicted is provided by vertical wash strokes. He evolved a special method of presenting extended depictions involving unfolding or unrolling paper. Among his stylistic characteristics are blank eyes, certain details of toe- and fingernails, and the avoidance of crosshatching in pen and arbitrary stippling. Clearly ordered compositions of a classical appearance, with a minimum of receding planes, were most to the liking of this artist; he mastered restless, more complex subjects with somewhat greater difficulty. He had an especial preference for Hellenic reliefs, whose religious content must have held interest for his client. Whether the inscriptions on the monuments depicted are by this artist or whether he engaged a lettering specialist for the task remains to be established.


  • F. Matz: ‘Über eine dem Herzog von Coburg-Gotha gehörige Sammlung alter Handzeichnungen nach Antiken’, Berlin Monatsberichte der Königlich preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin (Sept–Oct 1871)
  • Der Codex Coburgensis: Das erste systematische Archäologiebuch (exh. cat., ed. H. Wrede and R. Haprath; Coburg, Veste Coburg, 1986)
  • R. Harprath: ‘Zeichentechnik und künstlerische Persönlichkeit des “Meisters des Codex Coburgensis”’, Antikenzeichnung und Antikenstudium in Renaissance und Frühbarock. Akten des internationalen Symposions: Coburg, 1986 (Mainz, 1989), pp. 127–40
  • H. Wrede: ‘Der Codex Coburgensis und das Museum Chartaceum: Entwicklungsstufen der klassischen Archäologie’, Cassiano dal Pozzo’s Paper Museum (Milan, 1992), vol. 1, pp. 122–36
  • R. Harprath: ‘Le ‘Maître di Codex Coburgensis” et son commanditaire: problèmes autour des dessins de la Renaissance d’aprés l’antique’, A travers l’image: Lecture iconographique et sens de l’oeuvre, ed. S. Deswarte-Rosa (Paris, 1994), pp. 207–55

Master of the Codex of St George

  • Domenico G. Firmani

(fl first half of the 14th century).

Italian illuminator and painter. His cognomen is derived from an illuminated Missal, known as the St George Codex (Rome, Vatican, Bib. Apostolica, Archv Capitolare S Pietro, MS. C. 129). From the time of DeNicola, who first connected this Master with the Vatican manuscript, until the early 1950s, he was thought to have been trained by a Sienese master, specifically, a follower of Simone Martini. The arguments centred around his association with Simone in Avignon and the importance of both artists for the development of the International Gothic style. Simone Martini’s lost fresco of St George in Notre-Dame-des-Doms, Avignon, was considered to be the model for the St George Master’s illustration on folio 85r of the Vatican manuscript: on that page, St George frees the Cappadocian princess in the margins of Cardinal Giacomo Stefaneschi’s text on ‘The Miracles and Martyrdom of St George’. Most scholars, however, now consider that the Master received his early training in Florentine art and that he was active in the first half of the 14th century, possibly as early as the first decade. A chronology of his career was established by Howett, but different dates were suggested by Boskovits (1984), because he associated the artist with the career of the elusive Lippo di Benivieni.

Early works attributed to the St George Master, such as the initial with St Peter Venerated by a Pope (Boulogne, Bib. Mun., MS. 86, fol. 2r), demonstrate that his style combined the traditions of Sienese art, which entered Florence through the works of Duccio, with the native Florentine style of the period before Giotto, designated the ‘miniaturist’ tendency by Offner (see Pacino di Bonaguida). Howett (1976) noted spatial and compositional problems that evolved out of these monumental and lyrical traditions and dated this early period c. 1325–30. Boskovits, however, believed that the Master’s career began some 10–15 years earlier, listing as an example a Gradual (Rome, Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, MS. Cor. D) made in 1315 for the Badia di San Salvatore a Settimo; he reproduced folio 272v, an initial D with St Clement Enthroned. The spatial deformities were described by Boskovits as typical of the Master’s approach, which was never as rational as that of Giotto’s followers. Howett considered that the illumination in this manuscript was later in date, belonging to what he designated the Master’s transitional period of c. 1335–40.

Within this transitional period, the Master attempted to put more substantive figures in a more convincing space. The figures in 17 cuttings (Berlin, Kupferstichkab., nos 1987, 1989, 1993–4, 1997, 2000, and Berlin, Bodemus., nos 1984–6, 1988, 1990–92, 1995–6, 1998–9) are more outwardly vivid, and the spatial settings are further developed, as in the initial F with the Birth of the Virgin (no. 2000). Boskovits proposed that the Berlin miniatures were executed soon after the earliest works of c. 1310–15, barely predating the Codex of St George itself. Both Boskovits and Howett recognized that the eponymous Codex represented the Master’s mature style, but the former considered that certain stylistic features suggested an early date, while the latter dated the manuscript to the late period of c. 1340–45. The works of this stage in the Master’s career reflect the increasing influence of Bernardo Daddi in Florence, and Howett proposed that the influence of Jacopo del Casentino and Pacino di Bonaguida was eclipsed by the increasingly pervasive sway of Daddi. The diptych of the Crucifixion and Lamentation (New York, Cloisters) and other late works show Daddi’s lyric sweetness without a loss of spatial clarity or a reversion to surface pattern.


  • G. DeNicola: ‘L’affresco di Simone Martini ad Avignone’, L’Arte, vol. 9 (1906), pp. 336–44
  • J. Howett: The Master of the St George Codex (diss., U. Chicago, 1968)
  • J. Howett: ‘Two Panels by the Master of the St George Codex in the Cloisters’, Metropolitan Museum Journal, vol. 11 (1976), pp. 85–102
  • G. Pinto: Il libro del Biadaiolo (Florence, 1978)
  • M. G. Ciadri Dupre dal Poggetto: Il Maestro del Codice di San Giorgio e il Cardinal Jacopo Stefaneschi (Florence, 1981)
  • M. Boskovits: Corpus (1984)
  • E. Condello: ‘I codici Stefaneschi: Libri e committenza di un cardinale avignonese’, Archivio della Società romana di storia patria, vol. 112 (1989), pp. 195–218

Master of Coëtivy

  • Thomas Tolley

(fl c. 1455–75).

Illuminator, painter, and tapestry designer, active in France. He is named after the Book of Hours with the portraits and armorial bearings of Olivier de Coëtivy and his wife, Marie Marguerite de Valois (Vienna, Österreich. Nbib., MS. 1929), made between their marriage in 1458 and Marie’s death in 1473. This smart prayerbook is, in terms of page layout and border decoration, typical of French books of this period, but the style of the miniatures, all the work of the Coëtivy Master, does not appear to derive from the French tradition, suggesting instead a Netherlandish, and more specifically a north Netherlands, origin.

Although the Coëtivy Master illuminated other devotional books, such as a Book of Hours made for the Rivoire family (Paris, Bib. N., MS. nouv. acq. lat. 3114) and a Psalter (Baltimore, MD, Walters A. Mus., MS. W.297), these books do not show the artist at his best. The small scale of most of these pictures seems to have restricted his sense of composition, and his preference to work on a somewhat larger scale may be seen in several non-liturgical books convincingly attributed to him. These are all elaborately decorated and allow a clearer appreciation of his style. The only one that can be closely dated from internal evidence, and which may be the earliest of these manuscripts, is a copy of Dante’s Divine Comedy (Paris, Bib. N., MS. ital. 72) made for Charles of France, younger son of King Charles VII, when he held the title Duc de Berry (1461–5). Other secular texts illuminated by the Master include an Histoire universelle by Orosius (Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 64), a Compendium romanorum (Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 730), a Miroir historial (Rome, Vatican, Bib. Apostolica, MS. Vat. reg. lat. 767), and two copies of Boethius’s Traité de la consolation, one made for Jean Budé (d 1501), a royal secretary (Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 1098), and the other with no indications of original patronage (New York, Morgan Lib. & Mus., MS. M.222).

All these manuscripts display the Coëtivy Master’s skill in adapting a wide variety of compositional techniques, often combining elements of landscape and interior setting within a single miniature to connect spatially several narrative scenes (e.g. MS. Vat. reg. lat. 767, fol. 6r). The artist was particularly successful in handling dramatic situations involving numerous figures, and exciting battle scenes, full of movement and vigour, may be considered his speciality. The subject-matter of the Orosius, for example, offered him the opportunity to develop this skill (e.g. fols 55v, 345r, 411r): soldiers with grimacing faces, wearing mock antique armour, some wielding swords, lances or banners, others riding rearing horses, convey a feeling for lively action. Although the Master tended to avoid difficulties of foreshortening, he was not uninterested in issues concerning perspective; landscape settings reveal a wonderful sense of distance and atmosphere, while interiors are quite spacious and coherent, although they use no definable rules of perspective.

The Master of Coëtivy’s use of rather vibrant colour schemes is one of his most distinct characteristics and one that distinguishes him from contemporary French illuminators. He favoured colours such as orange modelled in dark red, and a deep blue, particularly evident in the skies of his landscapes. His figure style is also distinctive: male figures tend to be short and thick-set, uncouth, and often menacing in appearance, with exaggerated facial features; women are less grotesque and are usually elegant, with handsome, though bland, features and narrow waists. The atmospheric qualities of the Coëtivy Master’s work suggest the influence of contemporary French artists such as Jean Fouquet, but the basic earthiness of his approach has more in common with art from the northern Netherlands. Comparison of his work with such artists as the Master of Catherine of Cleves and Geertgen tot Sint Jans indicates that he probably trained in the north Netherlandish tradition.

The illustrations in the Miroir historial are basically pen drawings, showing the Master’s work at its most sensitive and detailed. In the Compendium romanorum the drawing is tinted with watercolour, an unusual technique for the period but one also used in eight large drawings of uniform character (Paris, Louvre, 2140–47) that are obviously by the same artist. These drawings are of great interest because they are clearly designs for part of a set of tapestries depicting the Story of the Trojan Wars. Evidently the Master also worked on a large scale. Several tapestries related to these drawings survive (e.g. four panels in Zamora Cathedral, Spain), and others are mentioned in inventories, indicating that this Trojan war series was one of the most popular sets of tapestries of the 15th century: one set was presented to Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, in 1472 and another delivered to King Henry VII of England in 1488. The drawings are probably of earlier date since the paper has watermarks attributable to the 1460s. Like his miniatures, the Master’s tapestry designs have a very cluttered effect but succeed in conveying a great sense of action. On the basis of these drawings, the design of other tapestries has been attributed to him, including an Embarkation of Titus and Vespasian (Lyon, Mus. A. Déc.), although the original drawings do not survive. One panel painting, a Raising of Lazarus with Donors (Paris, Louvre), is also by the Master. This painting is less fussy and more emotional than his other work and firmly establishes his Netherlandish origins.

Since many of the Coëtivy Master’s patrons were connected with the French court, it seems likely that the artist worked chiefly in the region of the Loire valley where the court resided. Further evidence suggests that the Coëtivy Master may be identified with the artist Henri de Vulcop (see Vulcop, (2) ). At the time that Charles of France’s Divine Comedy was illuminated (1461–5) Vulcop was one of two painters in his service. The other, Jean de Laval, may be associated with miniatures dated 1465 made for Charles’s Book of Hours (New York, Cloisters, 58.71 a, b), and it is not unreasonable to assume that the Divine Comedy, which is stylistically quite unlike the Hours, was executed by Vulcop. Furthermore, Vulcop is a Netherlandish name, which agrees with the character of the Coëtivy Master’s work. Nevertheless, the identification cannot yet be considered certain. The Coëtivy Master had several followers, most notably the Master of the Unicorn Hunt.


  • P. Durrieu: ‘Les Heures de Coëtivy à la bibliothèque de Vienne’, Bulletin de la Société nationale des antiquaires de France (1921), pp. 301–17
  • N. Reynaud: ‘La Résurrection de Lazare et le Maître de Coëtivy’, Revue du Louvre et des musées de France, vol. 15 (1965), pp. 171–82
  • N. Reynaud: ‘Un Peintre français cartonnier de tapisseries au XVe siècle: Henri de Vulcop’, Revue de l’art [Paris], vol. 22 (1973), pp. 7–22
  • O. Pächt and D. Thoss: Die illuminierten Handschriften der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek: Französische Schule, 2 vols (Vienna, 1974), pp. 29–32, pls 32–41
  • N. Reynaud: ‘Complément à la Résurrection de Lazare du Maître de Coëtivy’, Revue du Louvre et des musées de France, vol. 27 (1977), pp. 222–4
  • G. Wingfield Digby: The Tapestry Collection, Medieval and Renaissance, London, V&A cat. (London, 1980), pp. 14–18
  • S. Hindman and G. M. Spiegel: ‘The Fleur-de-lis Frontispieces to Guillaume de Nangis’s Chronique abrégée: Political Iconography in Late Fifteenth-century France’, Viator, vol. 12 (1981), pp. 381–407
  • The Last Flowering: French Painting in Manuscripts, 1420–1530, from American Collections (exh. cat. by J. Plummer and G. Clark, New York, Pierpont Morgan Lib. & Mus., 1982)
  • ‘Acquisitions—Manuscripts, MS 42’, J. Paul Getty Museum Journal, vol. 20 (1992), pp. 148–9

Master of the Coronation Book of Charles V

  • Patrick M. de Winter

(fl Paris, c. 1350–78).

French illuminator. He worked primarily for the court and was the most prolific illuminator in Paris after the Master of the Boqueteaux, with whose workshop he often collaborated. His lively compositions, graphically delineated, are appealing for their juxtaposition of hues. The figures have a portrait-like quality, but no concern is shown for foreshortening or perspective. The Master’s earliest known illuminations are in a manuscript of the works of Guillaume de Machaut (Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 1586). Shortly before 1356 he illustrated for King John II a Bible historiale (London, BL, Royal MS. 19 D. II). For the Dauphin, Charles, he produced the frontispiece of the Livre des neuf juges (1361; Brussels, Bib. Royale Albert 1er, MS. 10319) and the illustrations of another Bible historiale (1363; Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 5707). In 1365 for the same patron, now King Charles V, he executed 38 miniatures in a book recording the coronation ceremony (London, BL, Cotton MS. Tib. B. VIII). Among other volumes for Charles V, in 1375–6 the Master contributed to two copies of the Grandes Chroniques de France (Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 2813; Britain, priv. col.), to a copy of St Augustine’s City of God (Paris, Bib. N., MSS fr. 22912–3), and to manuscripts combining Aristotle’s Politics and the pseudo-Aristotelian Oeconomics (Paris, Waziers priv. col.; Brussels, Bib. Royale Albert 1er, MSS 11201–2). For Jean, Duc de Berry, he partially illustrated another copy of the Grandes Chroniques (sold London, Sotheby’s, 8 Dec 1981, lot 94). In 1376–8 he collaborated on the Grandes Heures of Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy (vol. 1: Cambridge, Fitzwilliam, MS. 3–1954; Brussels, Bib. Royale Albert 1er, MSS 11035–7; vol. 2: Brussels, Bib. Royale Albert 1er, MS. 13092); his work here shows signs of senescence and was completed by others.


  • E. S. Dewick: The Coronation Book of Charles V of France (Cotton MS. Tiberius B. VIII), Henry Bradshaw Society, vol. 16 (London, 1899)
  • La Librairie de Charles V (exh. cat., ed. F. Avril and J. Lafaurie; Paris, Bib. N., 1968)
  • Les Fastes du gothique: Le Siècle de Charles V (exh. cat., entries by F. Avril and others, Paris, Grand Pal., 1981)
  • P. de Winter: ‘The Grandes Heures of Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy: The Copyist Jean L’Avenant and his Patrons at the French Court’, Speculum, vol. 57 (1982), pp. 786–842
  • P. de Winter: La Bibliothèque de Philippe le Hardi, Duc de Bourgogne (1364–1404) (Paris, 1985)
  • C. F. O’Meara: Monarchy and Consent: The Coronation Book of Charles V of France (London, 2001)

Master of the Coronation of the Virgin [Coronation Master; Master of the Livre des femmes nobles et renommées]

  • Gabriele Bartz

(fl 1402–4).

French illuminator. He is named after the frontispiece miniature, depicting the Coronation of the Virgin surrounded by numerous saints, of a manuscript of the revision of 1402 of the Golden Legend (392×287 mm; Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 242). Meiss assembled a corpus of works for this artist, whom he believed to have been trained in the Netherlands, from a group of manuscripts that Martens had attributed to an anonymous artist named the Master of 1402 (the rest of the group was ascribed to the §I, ; see above). This comprises especially the Book of Hours that, according to its colophon (fol. 216v), originated at Nantes in 1402 (140×100 mm; New York, Morgan Lib. & Mus., MS. M. 515); some miniatures in a Bible historiale mentioned in the inventory of Jean, Duc de Berry, in 1402 (Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 159); Hayton de Courcy’s Fleur des histoires de la terre d’Orient (Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 12201), one of three copies acquired by Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, in 1403; and Boccaccio’s Des cleres et nobles femmes (Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 598), which Jean de Berry received in February 1404. De Winter rejected the designation ‘Coronation Master’ and chose the name Master of the Livre des femmes nobles et renommées, in whose oeuvre he included the above-mentioned works.


  • B. Martens: Meister Francke (Hamburg, 1929), pp. 192–3, 241
  • M. Meiss: French Painting in the Time of Jean de Berry: The Limbourgs and their Contemporaries, 2 vols (New York, 1974), pp. 98, 104, 287–8, 336, 383–4
  • P. de Winter: La Bibliothèque de Philippe le Hardi, Duc de Bourgogne (1364–1404) (Paris, 1985), pp. 98–106

Master of the Counts Palatinate and Margraves.

See Besser [Pesser], Hans.

Masters of the Craterographia.

See under Zünt, Matthias .

Master of the Crayfish.

See Crabbe (van Espleghem) [Minnebroer], Frans.

Master of the Crocifisso dei Bianchi

  • Maurizia Tazartes

(fl 1500–20).

Italian painter. The name is given to the painter of the Mystic Marriage of St Catherine with SS Anthony Abbot and James (Lucca, Curia Arcivescovile), originally in the church of the Crocifisso dei Bianchi, Lucca, and formerly attributed to the Master of the Lathrop Tondo. However, this painting and others stylistically close to it, such as the Virgin and Child with SS Stephen and Jerome (Berlin, Gemäldegal.) and the fresco of Famous Men and Women (Lucca, Cathedral Library), are not of the quality of the Master of the Lathrop Tondo (Ferretti) and would seem to be the work of a painter active c. 1510 and influenced by the Master and by Amico Aspertini, who was working in Lucca at that date. Baracchini and others have proposed that the Master of the Crocifisso dei Bianchi can be identified as the painter Ranieri di Leonardo da Pisa, documented in Lucca from 1502 to 1521, who painted with Vincenzo Frediani a Virgin and Child in S Gennaro di Capannori, near Lucca (see Tazartes). He was a minor painter, active in Frediani’s workshop. The Virgin and Child with SS Roch and Frediano (Torre, S Frediano) and the Virgin and Child with SS John the Baptist, Colombano, Catherine and Sebastian (S Colombano, parish church) can be attributed to him on stylistic grounds.


  • M. Ferretti: ‘Percorso lucchese’, Annali della Scuola normale superiore di Pisa, n. s. 2, vol. 5(3) (1975), pp. 1059–60
  • M. Tazartes: ‘Anagrafe lucchese’, i, Ricerche di storia dell’arte, vol. 26 (1985), pp. 10–11
  • C. Baracchini and others: ‘Pittori a Lucca tra ’400 e ’500’, Annali della Scuola normale superiore di Pisa, n. s. 2, vol. 16 (1986), pp. 769–72, 813–14
  • G. Concioni, C. Ferri, and G. Ghilarducci: I pittori rinascimentali a Lucca (Lucca, 1988), pp. 185–95

Master of the Crucifixion Altar.

See §I, .

Master of the Cueur d’amour espris.

See §I, .

Master of the Cypresses

  • Lynette Bosch

(fl c. 1420–40).

Spanish illuminator. He was named by Angulo Iñiguez after the characteristic cypress trees that frequently appear in a series of miniatures in vols 29 and 66 of the Choirbooks of Seville Cathedral (Seville, Archv Catedral). Angulo Iñiguez dated these illuminations to the early years of the 15th century and noted the influence of Giotto apparent in the artist’s work; however, the influence of Netherlandish painting can also be observed in addition to Italianate elements. The wall paintings in the monastery of S Isidoro del Campo, Santiponce, near Seville, have also been attributed to the Master, as has a Bible in Madrid (Madrid, Escorial, MS. 1.13) that is richly decorated with miniatures. It has been suggested that the Master of the Cypresses may perhaps be identified with Pedro de Toledo (fl 1434); if so, the work of the Master would establish strong artistic links between Seville and Toledo. The style of the illuminations attributed to the Master in any case bears striking similarities to that of the Carrión, de family workshop and could provide a clue to the artistic origins of Juan and Pedro de Carrión.


  • D. Angulo Iñiguez: ‘La miniatura en Sevilla: El Maestro de los Cipreses’, Archivo español de arte y arqueología [cont. as Archv Esp. Arqueol.; Archv Esp. A.], vol. 4 (1928), pp. 65–96
  • D. Angulo Iñiguez: ‘Miniaturas del segundo cuarto del siglo XV: Biblia Romanceada, 1.1.3 de la Biblioteca de El Escorial’, Archivo español de arte y arqueología [cont. as Archv Esp. Arqueol.; Archv Esp. A.], vol. 5 (1929), pp. 225–31
  • B. C. Anderson: ‘A Fifteenth-century Illumination and the Work of Pedro de Toledo’, J. Paul Getty Museum Journal, vol. 21 (1993), pp. 11–28
  • A. Dominguez Rodriguez: ‘Dos biblias iluminadas en Toledo en torno a 1420: La Biblia de Alba y la “Biblia romanceada escuraliense”: Escorial, Ms. I.J.3’, Flanders in a European Perspective: Manuscript Illumination around 1400 in Flanders and Abroad. Proceedings of the International Colloquium: Leuven, 1993 (Leuven, 1995), pp. 473–85
  • R. Marchena Hidalgo: ‘La obra de Nicolás Gómez, pintor y miniaturista del siglo XV’, Laboratorio de arte, vol. 10 (1997), pp. 373–89

Master of the Dangolsheim Madonna

  • Eva Zimmermann

(fl 1460s).

German sculptor. The name is given to the carver of a wooden statue of the Virgin and Child (h. 1.02 m; Berlin, Bodemus., inv. no. 7055). The statue is made of walnut with the original polychrome partly preserved and a reliquary container within the figure. It came from a private collection in Dangolsheim, Lower Alsace, supposedly originating from a monastery in Strasbourg. It is dated to the 1460s.

The subject, of the naked child lying in the hands of his mother and playfully half-hiding behind her veil, is similar to the Hammerthaler Virgin and Child of c. 1450 (Munich, Heiliggeistkirche), and the motif of the cloak’s folds turned up at the front is found in simplified form in an engraving (Lehrs 79) by master e.s. (see §III below), which was most probably done during the 1450s and may well refer to an older statue of a Virgin and Child of this type. Although in many respects the Dangolsheim Virgin and Child is close to the works of Nicolaus Gerhaert, it is distinguished from them principally by the treatment of the draperies, which are developed as abstract and metallic rather than as a rendering of the texture of the cloth. Fischel emphasized the pre-Gerhaert character of the Virgin and Child and tentatively identified the Master with the Strasbourg sculptor Hans Jöuch (d between 1462 and 1466); but more recent scholars have linked the figure stylistically to the standing figures of the high altar of 1462 in the Georgskirche, Nördlingen (see §I, below), the attribution of which is contested.


  • L. Fischel: ‘Zur kunsthistorischen Stellung des Meisters der Dangolsheimer Maria’, Jahrbuch der staatlichen Kunstsammlungen in Baden-Württemberg, vol. 3 (1966), pp. 51–68 [with bibliog.]
  • M. Baxandall: The Limewood Sculptors of Renaissance Germany (New Haven, 1980), pp. 250–51
  • R. Recht: Nicolas de Leyde et la sculpture à Strasbourg, 1460–1525 (Strasbourg, 1987), pp. 152–85, 346–50
  • Die Dangolsheimer Muttergottes nach ihrer Restaurierung (exh. cat., Berlin, Staatl. Museen Preuss. Kultbes., 1989)
  • B. Buczynski and H. Krohm: ‘Die Dangolsheimer Muttergottes: Technologische Untersuchung und Restaurierung’, Zeitschrift für Kunsttechnologie und Konservierung, vol. 3 (1989), pp. 165–89
  • M. Nass: ‘Der Kupferstich der Muttergottes mit Maiglöckchen L. 79 des Monogrammisten E. S. und die Beziehungen zur Dangolsheimer Muttergottes’, Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen, vol. 33 (1991), pp. 239–51
  • E. Zimmermann and others: ‘Zuschreibungsprobleme: Beiträge des Berliner Colloquiums zur Dangolsheimer Muttergottes’, Jahrbuch preussischer Kulturbesitz [prev. pubd as Jb. Stift. Preuss. Kultbesitz], vol. 28 (1992), pp. 223–67
  • U. Heinrichs-Schreiber: ‘Spätgotische Retabel am Oberrhein: Forschungsstand offene Fragen und Ziele’, Jahrbuch der staatlichen Kunstsammlungen in Baden-Württemberg, vol. 31 (1994), pp. 14–42

Master of the Darmstadt Passion

(fl c. 1435/40–1455/60).

German painter. Around 1450 he was the outstanding painter in the Middle Rhine region; Panofsky called him ‘perhaps the most accomplished colourist and luminarist outside the Netherlands’. His oeuvre has been assembled from relatively few works. Thode (1900) named the Master on the basis of two altar panels (both Darmstadt, Hess. Landesmus.) showing on the insides Christ Carrying the Cross and a crowded Calvary, with a patterned gold ground, with fragments of an Annunciation and Adoration of the Infant Jesus on the outsides. These two panels are probably from a church in Hessen.

1. Oeuvre.

To the two Darmstadt panels Thode linked two altar-wing paintings in Berlin (Gemäldegal.), which when he wrote were already divided into four panels. They show on the former insides the Adoration of the Kings and the Veneration of the Holy Cross, with the Virgin Enthroned with the Child and the Trinity on the outsides. The Berlin paintings were later linked by Stange and others to a large Calvary in the St Martin-Kirche in Bad Orb, near Aschaffenburg, the Berlin works being its former wings.

A number of further panels have been attributed to the painter; these originate—as Stange surmised and as has now been ascertained—from a large retable in the former Cistercian church at Baindt, north of Lake Constance. The panels depict saints and scenes from the Life of the Virgin on a partly patterned gold ground: on the altar’s insides, SS Fabian and Sebastian, the Communion of St Onophrius, and the Meeting at the Golden Gate (Zurich, Ksthaus) and SS Dorothy and Catherine (Dijon, Mus. B.-A.); on the outsides, scenes mostly of the miracles of Jesus, such as the Marriage at Cana, the Healing of a Blind Man (Stuttgart, Staatsgal.), or the Awakening of the Young Man at Nain (Munich, Alte Pin.). Finally, two interrelated panels with three-quarter-length depictions of King David and St John the Baptist (priv. col.), close to the retable panels, have been attributed to the oeuvre.

2. Chronology and style.
  • Hans M. Schmidt

The former Baindt retable has usually been dated in the 1420s or 1430s, that is, before the other works of the artist. This suggests that his origin lay in the Lake Constance region. The SS Fabian and Sebastian at Zurich reflects paintings by Konrad Witz such as Abishai, Sibbechai and Benaiah (c. 1435; Basle, Kstmus.; for illustration see Witz, Konrad).

Some uncertainties in the treatment of the figures—the postures and their spatial relations—suggest they are the work of a young artist. The attempt to attribute the insides and outsides of the Baindt retable to different hands (Wolfson) is unconvincing: in many 15th-century altarpieces a different conception of the image was used on the insides and outsides of the retable. The fragmentary work that survives from Baindt indicates the mind and hand of a single artist.

The Calvary panel of Bad Orb (destr. 1983) may be dated, like its former wings now in the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin, to the years 1445–50, about a decade after the Baindt retable—taking into account, for example, the roughly contemporaneous works of Stefan Lochner, who also came from Lake Constance, in Cologne. As compared to the early work, the figures have taken on a statuesque definition, while colour (particularly in carefully balanced shades of red and green), space and surface, as well as the interrelations of the figures, are brought together in a clear, coherent, and rhythmical order. Mature humanity is also expressed by the figures, as in the splendid figure of the Good Captain in the Calvary or the bishop in the Veneration of the Holy Cross. The characters now have the quality of portraits. These individualized figures make it conceivable that the artist also produced separate portraits. A highly developed interest in objective reality, seen in the figure types, costumes, implements, features of Gothic or Romanesque architecture and in the legible Hebrew inscriptions, points forward to a new epoch.

As compared to the Bad Orb/Berlin triptych (which cannot be regarded as two separate works, as Wolfson suggests), the Darmstadt panels herald a new monumental conception and a deeper seriousness. The additive quality to be found in the earlier work has given way to a unified composition throughout the work. The resultant stiffness of the figures is not the result of artistic incapacity. The carefully calculated treatment of light and colour displays an artist working at the height of his powers. They are the latest products of this painter, and can be dated hardly earlier than the mid-1450s.

The Master can thus be seen as originating from the Lake Constance area and coming to work in the mid-Rhine region, perhaps at Mainz or Aschaffenburg. Early influences, not least that of Konrad Witz, were soon overlaid by impressions from the great Netherlandish artists such as Robert Campin or Jan van Eyck. Some Italian experiences seem also to have left traces in his work. Probably slightly younger than Konrad Witz and Stefan Lochner, he had a stature of his own transcending regional boundaries; his work had a special resonance in Middle Rhenish art, even if it had no directly tangible consequences.


  • H. Thode: ‘Die Malerei am Mittelrhein im XV. Jahrhundert und der Meister der Darmstädter Passionsszenen’, Jahrbuch der Königlich-preussischen Kunstsammlungen [cont. as Jb. Preuss. Kstsamml.], vol. 21 (1900), pp. 59–74, 113–35
  • A. Stange: Deutsche Malerei der Gotik, vol. 3 (Berlin, 1938), pp. 148–54
  • A. Stange: Kritisches Verzeichnis der deutschen Tafelbilder vor Dürer, vol. 2 (Munich, 1970), pp. 100–2, nos 441–4
  • H. M. Schmidt: ‘Zum Meister der Darmstädter Passion’, Kunst in Hessen und am Mittelrhein, vol. 14 (1974), pp. 7–48
  • M. Wolfson: ‘Der Meister der Darmstädter Passion’, Kunst in Hessen und am Mittelrhein, vol. 29 (1989), pp. 7–104
  • B. Dunker and S. Kemperdick: ‘Ein unbekanntes Werk vom Meister der Darmstädter Passion: Die Flügel des Hochaltars der Wallfahrtskirche in Eberhardsklausen’, Zeitschrift des deutschen Vereins für Kunstwissenschaft [prev. pubd as Z. Kstwiss.; reverts to Z. Dt. Ver. Kstwiss.], vol. 47 (1994), pp. 61–89
  • R. Grosshaus: ‘Der Meister der Darmstädter Passion: Die restaurierten Berliner Altarflügel in der Reihe “Bilder im Blickpunkt”, 24. November bis 25. März 2001’, Museums-Journal, vol. 14(4) (Oct 2000), pp. 56–7

Master of the David and St John Statuettes

  • Charles Avery

(fl Florence, late 15th century or early 16th).

Italian sculptor. Conventional name for the sculptor of two stylistically coherent groups of statuettes produced in terracotta and in some numbers, under the influence of Verrocchio. The group of statuettes of David are characterized by elaborately decorated, pseudo-Roman armour reminiscent of that shown on Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise and are derived from Verrocchio’s bronze statue of David (c. 1475; Florence, Bargello). They have the left elbow bent, the right arm hanging down with a sword in its hand, and Goliath’s head between the feet. The other group, which is stylistically related and appears with minor variations and in some numbers, comprises statuettes of the Young St John the Baptist, who is shown seated on some rocks in the desert. Classic examples of both compositions are in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; a nude St Sebastian in the same collection also appears to originate from the same workshop, together with a superior version located in the Kunstgewerbemuseum, Leipzig. All the statuettes are highly detailed and partially hollowed out for firing, while some bear traces of polychromy; these features indicate that they were not bozzetti but finished statuettes, produced commercially for domestic altars or as interior decoration, for example to be displayed on mantelpieces.

‘The authorship of the statuettes presents a problem of great difficulty’, wrote John Pope-Hennessy (1964, p. 193). He ruled out earlier attributions based on comparisons between the terracottas of St Sebastian and major statues of the same saint by Baccio da Montelupo and Leonardo del Tasso (1466–?1500), arguing that the supposed similarities were ‘generic, and not substantiated by other authenticated works’ by either sculptor. A connection with the style of the young Jacopo Sansovino has also been suggested. However, there is no record of his having been involved in such productions, although he was a gifted and prolific modeller. Connections with Andrea della Robbia and Giovanni della Robbia, whose workshop was then producing glazed terracotta sculpture in a not dissimilar style, should also be considered.

There may also be links with other series of Florentine terracotta statuettes that are currently grouped by subject, for example those ascribed to the Master of the Unruly Children, including groups of warriors struggling with horsemen in the style of Leonardo da Vinci and a series of recumbent river gods inspired by Michelangelo. The latter sculptures suggest a late date for the work of the Master of the David and St John Statuettes, in the 1520s at the earliest. It has also been argued that Pietro Torrigiani may have been responsible for works attributed to the Master of the David and St John Statuettes or to the Master of the Unruly Children. However, as with Jacopo Sansavino, while there are general affinities of style, there is no evidence that Torrigiani was involved in such commercial replication of statuettes for the retail market. A possible candidate for the authorship of at least some of the loosely defined group associated with the present anonymous master is the recently discovered, secondary (but evidently competent and well-connected Florentine sculptor Sandro di Lorenzo di Sinibaldo (fl 1523), for whom see also the master of the unruly children below.


  • J. Pope-Hennessy: Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Victoria and Albert Museum (London 1964), nos 169–72
  • La civiltà del cotto (exh. cat., ed. A. Paolucci; Impruneta, 1980), pp. 85–6, 96–8, cat. nos 2.7, 2.8
  • B. Boucher: The Sculpture of Jacopo Sansovino (New Haven and London, 1991), p. 313, cat. nos 1, 2
  • A. P. Darr: ‘Verrocchio’s Legacy: Observations Regarding his Influence on Pietro Torrigiani and other Florentine Sculptors’, Verrocchio and Late Quattrocento Italian Sculpture, ed. S. Bule, A. P. Darr, and F. S. Gioffredi (Florence, 1992), pp. 125–39

Master of the Death of the Virgin

  • J. P. Filedt Kok

(fl c. 1440–50).

Engraver, probably active in south Germany. Some ten prints have been attributed to him, including the Death of the Virgin, after which he was named by Lehrs. He was formerly believed to have come from the southern Netherlands but is now thought to have lived in south Germany. The artist, probably a goldsmith, was one of the first generation of engravers. His style is rather awkward and lacks the refinement of his contemporary, the Master of the Playing Cards. His prints are characterized by stiff drapery and a limited suggestion of space, giving the impression that the figures are floating in mid-air. Besides a few prints of religious subjects, there is a large Battle Scene (unique impression, Paris, Louvre), set in a broad landscape with 80 or more soldiers, mounted or on foot, engaged in a tumultuous battle.


  • Hollstein: Dut. & Flem.
  • M. Lehrs: Geschichte und kritischer Katalog des deutschen, niederländischen und französischen Kupferstichs im XV. Jahrhundert (Vienna, 1908–34/R Nedeln, 1969), vol. 1, pp. 279–87
  • M. Geisberg: Die Anfänge des Kupferstichs, Meister der Graphik (Leipzig, 1923), pp. 6, 68–71
  • T. Musper: ‘Der früheste Stecher: Ein Oberdeutscher’, Pantheon: Internationale Zeitschrift für Kunst [cont. as Bruckmanns Pantheon], vol. 28 (1941), pp. 203–7

Master of the Decapitation of St John.

See under Merklin [Märklin; Merckell], Konrad.

Master of the Deichsler Altarpiece.

See under §I, .

Master of Delft

  • Jane Campbell Hutchison

(b c. 1470; fl c. 1490–1520).

North Netherlandish painter. He is stylistically related to the Master of the Virgo inter Virgines, who is believed to have been active in Delft. His association with Delft is also suggested by the inclusion of the tower of the Nieuwe Kerk (completed 1496) in the background of his early Crucifixion triptych with other scenes from the Passion (London, N.G.), a full-dress Calvary of the sort popular in the Rhineland and the northern Netherlands during the 15th century. With its large crowds of highly animated and brilliantly dressed spectators and participants and with its particular emphasis on the presence of children, this altarpiece strongly reflects the practical piety of Geert Grote and the teachings of Thomas à Kempis, which stressed the importance of the imitation of Christ in daily life and the vital necessity to educate the young. A kneeling donor in Carthusian dress at the lower left of the central panel—the only immobile figure in this painting apart from the crucified Christ—led Châtelet to propose that the altarpiece may have been painted for the abbey of Bartholomausdael, near Delft. A further connection with Delft is suggested by a pair of altarpiece wings (Cologne, Franzen priv. col., see Friedländer, pls 48–9) painted in the Master’s workshop about 1510, bearing the arms and portraits of Dirk van Beest (d 1545), Mayor of Delft, and his wife, Gertruyt van Diemen, as well as portraits of their five children, including their son, Theodore, a Carthusian monk. (Only the portraits of the patron saints, John the Baptist and Mary Magdalene, appear to be by the Master’s own hand; the wings form a triptych with a central panel depicting the Virgin and Child with St Anne by the Master of Frankfurt.)

One of the key works by the Master of Delft, datable to c. 1500 on the basis of costumes, is his triptych with the Virgin and Child with Saints (Amsterdam, Rijksmus.). An unusually elaborate Hortus conclusus of the Song of Songs—a metaphor for Mary’s virginity—is presented in the form of a raised flowerbed situated within the paved courtyard of a palace. The spectacular vision of a tabernacle at upper right seems to refer to the ‘more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands’ that is described in St Paul’s letter to the Hebrews (9:11)—an explanation of the replacement of the Old Covenant and its rituals by a new institution made possible by Christ’s crucifixion. The Delft Master’s figures are charming and animated, and his manner is slightly playful. The ladies’ costumes feature the inventive and improbable headgear often found in Lower Rhenish painting at the turn of the century. His colours are light and silvery, featuring a characteristic pointillé method of applying tiny dots of red pigment on a light ground. The wings of the Amsterdam triptych contain portraits of an anonymous donor and his wife. The anonymous donor’s patron, St Martin, bears the likeness of David of Burgundy, Bishop of Utrecht (d 1496). The donatrix is sponsored by St Cunera, identifiable by the scarf with which she was strangled. The outer wings depict an Annunciation in grisaille, which was not painted by the Master himself but may be by the workshop hand that painted the van Beest family portraits.

According to Friedländer, the Master possibly designed 16 woodcut illustrations for Olivier de la Marche’s Le Chevalier délibéré (Gouda, [n.d.], 2/Schiedam [c. 1498]), although more recently the illustrations have been attributed to the Master of Spes Nostra, a painter from the circle of the Master of Delft. Friedländer also speculated that the Master of Delft, or perhaps his teacher, might have designed the illustrations for the ‘legend of St Lidwina’ (Schiedam, 1498) and for the devotional books printed at the convent of Den Hem, near Schoonhoven, in the last years of the 15th century. These works had previously been attributed to the young Jacob Cornelisz. van Oostsanen. A further connection with the graphic arts is apparent in the compositions of the Master’s paintings of the Deposition (Oxford, Christ Church Lib.) and the Virgin and Child with St Bernard (Utrecht, Catharijneconvent), both of which reflect the influence of the Dutch engraver known as Master I.A.M. of Zwolle.


  • M. J. Friedländer: Die altniederländische Malerei (Berlin, 1924–37); Eng. trans. as Early Netherlandish Painting (Leiden, 1967–76), x, pp. 30–33, 75–6, 86, pls 42–53
  • M. J. Schretlen: Dutch and Flemish Woodcuts of the Fifteenth Century (London, 1925), pls 77–80
  • P. J. J. van Thiel and others: All the Paintings of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (Amsterdam, 1976)
  • A. Châtelet: Les Primitifs hollandais (Paris and Fribourg, 1980); Eng. trans. as Early Dutch Painting: Painting in the Northern Netherlands in the Fifteenth Century (Oxford and New York, 1981), pp. 155–7

Master of the della Rovere Missals

  • Susie Nash

(fl c. 1475–1505).

Illuminator, active in Italy and France. This name was given by Levi d’Ancona (1959) to an artist whose principal work is a richly decorated four-volume Missal produced for Cardinal Domenico della Rovere (d 1501), which includes his portrait, arms and devices (New York, Morgan Lib. & Mus., MS. 306; Turin, Archv Stato, MSS J. b. II.2–4). Originally one liturgical whole, it was destined for use in the Sistine Chapel, Rome (Dykmans). In the first volume (New York), the Master collaborated with, or possibly took over the project from, an artist who signed himself Franciscus Betyni and is presumably the Veronese Francesco di Bettini (fl c. 1481–1539). The della Rovere Master was working in Rome by 1478, as his style is recognizable in a Theophylactus (Rome, Vatican, Bib. Apostolica, MS. Vat. lat. 263) of that year dedicated to Pope Sixtus IV (reg 1471–84). The della Rovere Missals were probably produced in Rome between 1484 and 1490 as they appear to include a portrait of Pope Innocent VIII (reg 1484–92).

These works show a mature artist with a thorough knowledge of contemporary Italian painting, especially that of Melozzo da Forlì, active in the Vatican until 1481. He is capable of producing convincing settings, as for example in the miniature depicting the Priest Reciting Mass (New York, Morgan Lib. & Mus., MS. 306, fol. 119r). His miniatures are full of rich architectural effects and imposing classical elements. Arcades and columns are adorned with precious stones and pearls and festooned with garlands of pomegranates, and at their bases nude putti with chubby faces and blond, curly hair, again reminiscent of Melozzo, frequently appear. The figures are tall and slender with small, mildly expressive faces that tend to gaze skyward in attitudes of wonder. They are clothed in heavy robes that fall in strong vertical lines, like the flutes of a column, although this characteristic becomes progressively less marked.

All four volumes must have been completed by 1490, because by that date the Master was in Provence, where he collaborated on a Book of Hours (New York, Morgan Lib. & Mus., MS. 348) with the Master of René II of Lorraine, identified as Georges Trubert, who sold his house in Provence and moved to Lorraine that year. Soon after, the della Rovere Master left the south of France for Tours, where he worked on two Books of Hours for use there (Paris, Bib. Arsenal, MS. 432; Modena, Bib. Estense, MS. A.K.7.2). The latter includes the device AEIOU (Austriae Est Imperare Orbi Universo), belonging to the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III and his successor, the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, with the initials PK, which may stand for the Latin form (Phillipus Karolus) of the forenames of Philip the Fair, King of Castile, Maximilian’s son. If this book was made for Philip the Fair (Levi d’Ancona, 1953), it must have been produced in Tours by 1506, the year in which he died and the latest date ascribable to any of this Master’s surviving works. The works produced in Tours are clearly influenced by the style of Jean Bourdichon. The miniature depicting the Visitation in the Hours in Modena (fol. 46v) adopts a device favoured by Bourdichon of concentrating the attention on half-length figures, which fill the frame and emphasize the drama of the event. Facial types in both this book and the Paris Hours are also influenced by Bourdichon’s models, with female figures exhibiting the distinctive high, thin eyebrows and heavily lidded eyes and heads turned slightly to one side. The blond putti, garlands, and architectural settings, familiar from the works produced in Italy, are still in evidence and appear to be the hallmark of this artist.

The della Rovere Master may have been of French or Italian origin. While most, if not all, of his early works were produced in Italy and show a thorough understanding of contemporary Italian art, certain elements suggest a knowledge of southern French painting, and his later departure for France and easy assimilation of the style of Bourdichon suggest he may have been French by birth.


  • M. Levi d’Ancona: ‘Il Codice A.K.7.2. della Biblioteca Estense di Modena’, Commentari, vol. 4 (1953), pp. 16–21
  • M. Levi d’Ancona: ‘Le Maître des missels della Rovere: Rapports entre la France et l’Italie vers la fin du XVe et le début du XVIe siècle’, Actes du XIXe congrès international d’histoire de l’art: Paris, 1959, pp. 256–63
  • R. Brenzoni: ‘Il messale di Domenico della Rovere nella Pierpont Morgan Library di New York e il suo miniatore Francesco de Castello’, L’Arte, vol. 61 (1963), pp. 139–47
  • Fifth Centenary of the Vatican Library (Vatican City, 1975), p. 26, no. 58, pl. 8
  • The Last Flowering: French Painting in Manuscripts, 1420–1530, from American Collections (exh. cat. by J. Plummer and G. Clark, New York, Pierpont Morgan Lib., 1982), pp. 79–81, nos 102–3
  • M. Dykmans: ‘Le Missel du Cardinal Dominique de la Rovere pour la Chapelle Sixtine’, Scriptorium, vol. 37 (1983), pp. 205–38
  • The Painted Page: Italian Renaissance Book Illumination, 1450–1550 (exh. cat., ed. J. J. G. Alexander; London, RA, 1994)
  • J. Molina I Figueras: ‘Un manuscrito catalán de la “Chirurgia Magna” ilustrado en la Corte Vaticana a finales del Quattrocento’, Anuario del Departamento de Historia y Teoría del Arte, vol. 6 (1994), pp. 23–38
  • M. Hofmann: ‘Le Maître des Missels della Rovere et les ateliers tourangeaux’, Art et Métiers du Livre Paris, vol. 6 (2003), pp. 34–60

Dido Master.

See Apollonio di Giovanni.

Master of the Die

  • Louise S. Milne

(fl c. 1530–c. 1560).

Engraver and print designer, active in Italy. Name given to an artist in the workshop of Marcantonio Raimondi in Rome who signed his prints with a small die, or the letters bv. Suggested identifications include Benedetto Verino, Daddi or Dado, Marcantonio’s natural son, or, more recently, Tommaso Vincidor, one of Raphael’s assistants. The Master collaborated with many of the artists in Marcantonio’s studio working on Raphaelesque designs and made scores of prints, mainly reproducing Raphael’s decorations for the Vatican (e.g. Coronation of the Virgin, b. 29). The Master also produced sheets of grotesque decorative panels in imitation of the antique prototypes reinvented by Raphael (e.g. b. 80–85); these served as patterns for north European decoration. He is best known for a suite of four designs, Playing Putti (1532; b. 32–5). These prints were made after tapestry designs by Giovanni da Udine and cartoons by Vincidor (Munich, Staatl. Graph. Samml.), finished in 1521, which expressed the dream of a Golden Age under the pontificate of Leo X. Each shows three winged putti engaged in symbolic play on heavy swags of verdure. The cartoons were sent with Vincidor to Brussels to be woven, and the finished tapestries hung in the Sala di Constantino in the Vatican. The new genre was popular: 20 similar compositions by other artists are known in drawings or engravings. In the 1530s the Master’s engravings were themselves used as cartoons for tapestry sets after Raphael’s Life of the Virgin, ordered by such patrons as the Prince-Bishop of Liège, Cardinal Evrard de la Marck. The Master’s works therefore reveal the extraordinary productivity of the Marcantonio workshop at this date and the high standard of craftsmanship used to disseminate Raphael’s oeuvre.


  • S. Boorsch: Italian Masters of the Sixteenth Century, vol. 29 [vol. 15/ii] of The Illustrated Bartsch, ed. W. Strauss (New York, 1982), pp. 159–241 [B.]
  • L. Zentai: ‘On Baldassare Peruzzi’s Compositions Engraved by the Master of the Die’, Acta historiae artium Academiae scientiarum Hungaricae, vol. 29/(1–4) (1983), pp. 51–104
  • Raphael invenit (exh. cat. by G. B. Pezzini, S. Massari and S. P. V. Rodino, Rome, Ist. N. Graf., 1985), pp. 137–8, 584–6, 805, 820–25
  • P. Foglia: ‘Aggiunte ai cataloghi’, Grafica d'arte, vol. 25 (1996), p. 43
  • A. Griffiths: ‘False Margins and Fake Collectors Stamps Mixed Together with Prints with Genuine Collectors’ Stamps in Two Sets of Engravings by the Master of the Die’, Print Quarterly, vol. 13 (1996), pp. 184–6
  • P. Foglia: ‘Aggiunte ai cataloghi’, Grafica d'arte, vol. 25 (1996), p. 43
  • P. Tosetti Grandi: ‘Stampe antiche e florilegi data bases per pittori di fiori’, Padova e il suo Territorio, 83 (2000), pp. 13–8

Doheny Master.

See under §II, .

Master of the Dominican Effigies [Master of the Lord Lee Polyptych]

  • Andrew Ladis

(fl c. 1328–50).

Italian painter and illuminator. At one time named after a polyptych in the Lee Collection (?1345; U. London, Courtauld Inst. Gals), he is now named after his most unusual panel, Christ and the Virgin Enthroned with Seventeen Dominican Saints (c. 1336; Florence, S Maria Novella). He has been identified with Ristoro di Andrea (fl c. 1334–64) or some other illuminator associated with S Maria Novella, but this is unproven. It has also been suggested (Boskovits) that the work of another illuminator, the §I, (see above), may constitute an early phase of his career; if correct, this would reinforce his position as the chief heir to Pacino di Bonaguida, with whom he may have trained and certainly collaborated. Like Pacino, his work derives ultimately from the St Cecilia Master and forms part of what has been called the ‘miniaturist tendency’ (Offner), a group of painters often associated with small-scale anecdotal narratives. Like his slightly older contemporaries Jacopo del Casentino and the §I, (see above), he responded to the ideas of Giotto without entirely understanding them. The work of Giotto’s pupil Bernardo Daddi, however, provided a more accessible source of inspiration for his panels. His most successful work is in manuscripts, where, despite a delightful simplicity, his miniatures reveal strongly controlled designs animated by vivacious figures and lively patterns of colour, for example the Nativity and Annunciation to the Shepherds on a single leaf from a laudario or vernacular choir-book (Washington, DC, N.G.A., B-15, 393). This artist executed a wide variety of commissions for various Florentine patrons, both lay and religious. These include such service books as an Antiphonary commissioned for S Maria Novella between 1328 and 1334 (Florence, S Maria Novella, Cor. H Inv. No. 1357) and secular works, for example a fine series of miniatures for Dante’s Divine Comedy (c. 1337; Milan, Castello Sforzesco, MS. 1080).


  • R. Offner and K. Steinweg: Corpus (1930–79), 3/2, pt i, pp. 49–68, and pt ii, pp. 239–61; 3/7, pp. iii–v, 27–82; rev. M. Boskovits (1987), 3/2, pp. 271–354, 582–7
  • B. Berenson: ‘Quadri senza casa: Il trecento fiorentino, I’, Dédalo, vol. 11 (1931), pp. 978–82
  • M. Boskovits: Corpus (1984), pp. 54–7, 283–95
  • L. B. Kanter and others: Painting and Illumination in Early Renaissance Florence, 1300–1450 (New York, 1994)
  • A. Labriola: ‘Alcune proposte per la miniature fiorentina del Trecento’, Arte cristiana, vol. 93(826) (2005), pp. 14–16

Master of the Drapery Studies.

See §I, .

Master of the Dresden Prayerbook

  • Bodo Brinkmann

(fl c. 1460–1520).

Netherlandish illuminator and engraver. He was named by Winkler after the Book of Hours in Dresden (Dresden, Sächs. Landesbib., MS. A311; two detached miniatures, Paris, Louvre, inv. no. 20694, 20694bis). The book was slightly damaged by water in 1945. Its format and composition are typical of Books of Hours produced in Bruges, but it differs in the illustration of the calendar, with 12 full-page miniatures of the occupations of the months. These miniatures show the Master of the Dresden Prayerbook to have been one of the first illuminators to capture differing moods and atmosphere in landscapes, for example a fresh May morning or a gathering storm on a hot day in July. His finest achievements in landscape painting are the calendar miniatures of the Voustre Demeure Hours (Madrid, Bib. N., MS. Vit. 25–5), where the Signs of the Zodiac are represented as heavenly apparitions in landscapes that reflect the changing seasons. In view of this expertise, it is not surprising that, on several occasions, the Master of the Dresden Prayerbook undertook, as a specialist, the calendar sections of Books of Hours illustrated by other illuminators (e.g. London, BL, Add. MS. 38126 and Egerton MS. 1147). At the same time his own workshop, with c. 40 known manuscripts, was one of the most productive in the Netherlands.

The Master of the Dresden Prayerbook’s thick-set, somewhat rotund figures with clumsy hands and feet and massive heads, are distinctive. His narrative style is lively and rich in detail. He gave his figures dramatic postures and gestures, often so boldly foreshortened that the effect is exaggerated. He used bright and glowing colours, in particular a vivid orange, light red, yellow, and purple as well as occasional large unbroken areas of black. His miniatures lack the refined finish of the contemporary Ghent–Bruges school of illumination; individual brushstrokes and stippling remain visible, and broad areas of colour are left untouched.

The Master’s original style suggests that he trained in the northern Netherlands, possibly in Utrecht c. 1460. He subsequently went to Bruges, where, apparently under the influence of the Master of Antoine of Burgundy, he developed his new concept of landscape painting. Here, c. 1470, he produced the Dresden Book of Hours, also that in The Hague (Rijksmus. Meermanno-Westreenianum, MS. 10.F.1) and two Valerius Maximus manuscripts, one for Jean de Gros, treasurer of the Order of the Golden Fleece (Leipzig, Bib. U., MS. Rep. I.11b), and one for Jan Crabbe, Abbot of Ter Duinen Abbey in Bruges (Bruges, Mus. Groot Semin., MSS 157/188, 158/189, 159/190). The Master probably then went to Valenciennes in order to work with Simon Marmion on the Louthe Hours (Leuven, U. Catholique, Archvs, MS. A.2), the Huth Hours (London, BL, Add. MS. 38126), and further Books of Hours (London, V&A, MS. Salting 1221; Cambridge, MA, Harvard U., Houghton Lib., MSS Typ. 443/443.1). In the 1480s he was back in Bruges, where he painted most of the miniatures in the Breviary of Isabella the Catholic, Queen of Spain (unfinished; London, BL, Add. MS. 18851). It seems likely that the Master undertook one further journey, as he illuminated the Cartulary of the hospital of St Jacques, Tournai, written in 1489 (Tournai, Bib. Ville, Cod. 4A), and still later a Book of Hours (Paris, Bib. N., MS. lat. 1416) and an Evangeliary (Paris, Bib. Arsenal, MSS 661/662) for the use of Amiens. Apparently he finally settled in Bruges between 1490 and 1500. During this period he produced his finest works, a Book of Hours (London, BL, Add. MS. 17280) for Philip I and his wife, Joanna, Queen of Castile-Léon, and the Crohin-de la Fontaine Hours (Los Angeles, CA, Getty Mus., MS. 23). After 1500 his painting became increasingly two-dimensional; the drapery looks sacklike, the figures seem incorporeal and the faces stereotyped and usually distorted (Berlin, Gemäldegal., MS. 78.B.14; Cambridge, Fitzwilliam, MS. 1058–1975, fol. 15r). Two openings in the Spinola Hours of 1515 (Los Angeles, CA, Getty Mus., MS. Ludwig IX.18, fols 109v/110r, 119v/120r) can be counted among his last works. None of the attributed manuscripts can be dated stylistically later than 1520.

Anzelewsky has established, by a comparison of styles, that the Master of the Dresden Prayerbook was also active as an engraver. Some of the illustrations in a French translation of Boccaccio, De la ruine des nobles hommes et femmes, published by Colard Mansion (Bruges, 1476), are attributed to him (see §I, above).


  • R. Bruck: Die Malereien in den Handschriften des Königreichs Sachsen (Dresden, 1906), pp. 337–45 [reproduces calendar of Dresden Prayerbook]
  • F. Winkler: ‘Der Brügger Meister des Dresdener Gebetbuches und seine Werke’, Jahrbuch der Königlich-preussischen Kunstsammlungen [cont. as Jb. Preuss. Kstsamml.], vol. 35 (1914), pp. 225–44
  • F. Winkler: Der Leipziger Valerius Maximus: Mit einer Einleitung über die Anfänge des Sittenbildes in den Niederländen (Leipzig, 1923)
  • F. Winkler: Die flämische Buchmalerei (Leipzig, 1925/R Amsterdam, 1978), pp. 94–101
  • E. Kästner: Bekränzter Jahreslauf: Ein festlicher Kalender für alle Zeit (Leipzig, 1935/R 1979) [colour pls of the calendar illustrations of the Dresden Prayerbook]
  • F. Anzelewsky: ‘Die drei Boccaccio-Stiche von 1476 und ihre Meister’, Festschrift Friedrich Winkler (Berlin, 1959), pp. 114–25
  • B. Brinkmann: ‘Über den Meister Dresdener Gebetbuchs und seine Beziehung zu Utrecht’, Masters and Miniatures: Proceedings of the Congress on Medieval Manuscript Illumination in the Northern Netherlands: Utrecht, 1989, pp. 117–26
  • B. Brinkmann: Der Meister des Dresdner Gebetbuchs und sein Kreis: Leben und Werk eines burgundischen Buchmalers zwischen Utrecht, Brugge und Amiens (Berlin, 1990)
  • R. De Maio, ed.: Codice Flora: Una pinacoteca miniata della Biblioteca nazionale di Napoli (Naples, 1992)
  • B. Brinkmann: Die flämiche Buchmalerei am Ende des Burgunderreichs: Der Meister des Dresdener Gebetbuchs und die Miniaturisten seiner Zeit (Turnhout, 1997)
  • A.-M. Legaré: ‘A New Member of the Library of John II of Oetingen: Fitzwilliam Museum, MS 22’, The Cambridge Illuminations: The Conference Papers: Cambridge University Library and Fitzwilliam Museum: 8–10 December 2005

Master of the Ehningen Altar

  • Detlef Zinke

(fl c. 1470–80).

German painter. He is named after a winged altarpiece (Stuttgart, Staatsgal.) from St Maria, Ehningen, near Stuttgart, the chancel of which dates from 1476. It bears the coat of arms of Countess Palatine Matilda (1419–82), widow of Count Ludwig V of Württemberg and then residing in nearby Rottenburg. The altarpiece, which is in all essentials a faithful copy of a lost triptych by Dieric Bouts (see Bouts family, §1), belongs equally to the histories of Netherlandish and German painting. It is painted in tempera with oil glazes on spruce and depicts on the centre panel the Resurrection with in the background the Noli me tangere and the Procession of the Holy Women to the Sepulchre, on the left-hand wing Christ Appearing to his Mother with the Ascension in the background and on the right-hand wing the Incredulity of Thomas with the Pentecost in the background. The outer surfaces of the wings show the Annunciation with, in the tympanum of the painted gateway, a relief of the Fall and, next to this, Matilda’s coat of arms. The untraced predella showed Christ and the Apostles (ex-Stuttgart, Württemberg. Landesmus.). The artist undoubtedly learnt the rudiments of his art from Bouts himself; only in the slightly compressed proportions and the solidly anchored bodies (especially the nude half-figure of the Resurrected Christ) are his possible south German origins, perhaps around Lake Constance or Ulm, suggested.

No other works by the Master of the Ehningen Altar are known, although some products of his workshop may have been identified, and it appears from these that the painter became increasingly acclimatized to the traditional Württemberg milieu. Whether he also produced the frescoes in the winter refectory of the Cistercian monastery at Bebenhausen remains an open question.


  • J. Baum: Altschwäbische Kunst (Augsburg, 1923)
  • M. J. Friedländer: Die altniederländische Malerie (Berlin, 1924–37); Eng, trans. as Early Netherlandish Painting (Leiden, 1967–76)
  • W. Schöne: Dieric Bouts und seine Schule (Berlin and Leipzig, 1938)
  • A. Stange: Schwaben in der Zeit von 1450 bis 1500 (1957), vol. 8 of Deutsche Malerei der Gotik (Munich and Berlin, 1934–61)
  • Dieric Bouts (exh. cat., Brussels, Pal. B.-A.; Delft, Stedel. Mus. Prinsenhof; 1957–8)
  • B. Bushart: ‘Studien zur Altschwäbischen Malerei’, Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte [merger of Z. Bild. Kst with Repert. Kstwiss. & with Jb. Kstwiss.], vol. 22 (1959), pp. 133–57
  • A. Stange: Oberrhein, Bodensee, Schweiz, Mittelrhein, Ulm, Augsburg, Allgau, Nordlingen, von der Donau zum Neckar (1970), vol. 2 of Kritisches Verzeichnis der deutschen Tafelbilder vor Dürer (Munich and Berlin, 1967–78)

Master of the Embroidered Foliage

  • C. Périer-d’Ieteren

(fl Brussels, c. 1495–1500).

Painter, active in the southern Netherlands. This name was given by Friedländer to the artist of a number of works that include foliage depicted in an almost mechanical technique, with small luminous raised marks, reminiscent of embroidery stitches (although this motif should not be the sole criterion for attribution). The influence of Rogier van der Weyden is evident in the Master’s paintings of the Virgin, which are conflations or copies of van der Weyden’s own work. The main, generally accepted, attributions are the Virgin and Child in a Garden, the triptych of the Virgin and Child with Angels (Lille, Mus. B.-A.) and the Virgin and Child (1510–20) from the Johnson Collection (Philadelphia, PA, Mus. F.A.)—this last being an embellished copy, and the earliest one known, of van der Weyden’s Virgin and Child in a Niche (Madrid, Prado). All three of these very similar works show the Virgin holding the Child in her lap, while he plays with the pages of a Bible. The St Peter on the back of the right wing of the Melbourne Altarpiece (Melbourne, N.G. Victoria) is also generally attributed to this Master. Two other works that can be assigned to the same artist, the triptych with the Virgin and Child with Angels and SS Catherine and Barbara (before 1496; Polizzi Generosa, S Maria degli Angeli) and the Virgin and Child with Angels (ex-Groz priv. col.; Paris, Louvre), reveal the influence of Hugo van de Goes.

In the Master’s work spiritual content is subordinated to the anecdotal, characterized by a concentration on the depiction of landscape in which trees with stylized foliage and straight, smooth trunks are arranged in regular lines. Other features, typical of his work, are the concern with decorative detail (peacocks, flowers, a cottage), the inclined head of the Virgin, her eyes hidden by heavy lids, and the arrangement of drapery with repeating designs. The tranquillity of the compositions is achieved by the use of horizontal, parallel planes derived from the Bruges school. De Callataÿ attempted to identify the Master and revise the attributions to him, but this work has not been followed up. Callataÿ also suggested that the Master was a specialist in landscape painting and may have executed work in collaboration with other artists (see also §I, and §I, below).


  • M. J. Friedländer: Die altniederländische Malerei (Berlin, 1924–37); Eng. trans. as Early Netherlandish Painting (Leiden, 1967–76), vol. 4 (1969), pp. 65, 81–82, 86–7, 91–2, 100–101; vol. 14 (1976), pp. 12–13
  • E. Larsen: ‘The Monogrammist ADR, alias the Master with the Embroidered Foliage’, Oud-Holland, vol. 76 (1961), pp. 201–2
  • J. Białostocki: Les Musées de Pologne: Gdańsk, Kraków, Warszawa (1966), vol. 9 of Les Primitifs flamands, I: Corpus de la peinture des anciens Pays-Bas méridionaux au quinzième siècle (Brussels, 1951–), pp. 12–13
  • R. A. Koch: ‘Copies of Roger van der Weyden’s Madonna in Red’, Record of the Art Museum, Princeton University, vol. 26/(2) (1967), p. 49
  • Primitifs flamands anonymes: Maîtres aux noms d’emprunt des Pays-Bas méridionaux du XVe au début du XVIe siècle (exh. cat., ed. A. Janssens de Bisthoven and others, Bruges, Groeningemus., 1969), pp. 150–54, 281–6
  • D. De Vos: ‘De Madonna-en-Kindtypologie bij Rogier van der Weyden en enkele minder gekende Flemalleske Voorlopers’, Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen, vol. 13 (1971), pp. 60–161
  • V. Hoff and M. Davies: The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (1971), vol. 12 of Les Primitifs flamands, I: Corpus de la peinture des anciens Pays-Bas méridionaux au quinzième siècle (Brussels, 1951–), pp. 20–24
  • E. de Callataÿ: ‘Etude sur le maître au feuillage en broderie’, Musées royaux des beaux-arts de Belgique: Bulletin [prev. pubd as Annu. Mus. Royaux B.-A. Belgique/Jb. Kon. Mus. S. Kst. België], vol. 21 (1972), pp. 17–39
  • C. Périer-D’Ieteren: Colyn de Coter et la technique picturale des peintres flamands du XVe siècle (Brussels, 1985), p. 45, ill. 79

Master of Empúries.

See §I, .

Master of the Erfurt Regler Altar

  • Gisela Goldberg

(fl ?Erfurt, c. 1450–75).

He is named after the high altar in the Reglerkirche in Erfurt, which has paintings depicting the Passion. Its outer sides and predella were probably executed by another artist, following this Master’s design. Characteristic of the Master of the Erfurt Regler Altar are figures, set in narrow, confined spaces, who seem frozen in the middle of violent movements, their faces often grotesquely distorted (as with the tormentors of Christ, for example). On the one hand he seems to have been influenced by painters of the Middle Rhine area, such as the Master of the Oberstein Altar (Oberstein an der Nahe, Felsenkirche), also known as the Master of the Mainz Derision; on the other, the Master of the Tucher Altar (Nuremberg, Franenkirche) seems to have made a direct impression on him. He himself was a formative influence, for example on the painter who produced the wings for the Passion altarpiece of the Klosterkirche at Bad Hersfeld (Kassel, Schloss Wilhelmshöhe). Also attributed to the Master are wings from an altar of the Virgin (Munich, Alte Pin.) and two depicting the Crucifixion and Ascension (Karlsruhe, Staatl. Ksthalle) that were possibly sections of two corresponding altarpieces, of unknown origin.


  • A. Stange: Kritisches Verzeichnis der deutschen Tafelbilder vor Dürer, vol. 2 (Munich, 1970), pp. 101–2, nos 445–7

Erminold Master [Master of Erminold]

  • Michael Stuhr

(fl c. 1270–84).

German sculptor. He was active in Regensburg from c. 1275 until after 1280 and is named after his principal work, completed on documentary evidence in 1283: the funerary figure of the Blessed Erminold of Hirsau (d 1121), the founding abbot of the Benedictine monastery at Prüfening, near Regensburg. The figure lies in front of the former rood altar in the abbey church (now the parish church of St Georg). It is 1.98 m high and made of sandstone (the crook of the crosier is lead, and there are remains of the original tempera painting).

French cathedral sculpture (of e.g. Reims or Paris) was probably the most significant stylistic influence on the Erminold Master, and it may be presumed that he served his apprenticeship in the 1250s or 1260s, perhaps in Mainz and Strasbourg. His personal style becomes fully apparent only in the small red sandstone figures of prophets and angels in the archivolts of the west portal of Basle Minster (c. 1270).

The monumental sandstone statues of the Virgin and the Angel Annunciate of c. 1280 on the inner sides of the two west crossing piers in Regensburg Cathedral can definitely be attributed to the Erminold Master. Large areas of the original painting survive, and stylistically the group belongs to the Strasbourg and Upper Rhine tradition dating from around the mid-13th century. It ranks among the greatest achievements of German sculpture of the period.

The seated figure of St Peter, c. 1284, formerly in the main choir of Regensburg Cathedral (sandstone, remnants of the original painting; Regensburg, Stadtmus.), is generally regarded as a late work by the Erminold Master. He was the last significant figure in German monumental sculpture of the late 13th century, achieving a strongly individual style while drawing on older artistic forms of expression.


  • G. Schmidt: ‘Beiträge zum Erminoldmeister’, Zeitschrift für Kunstwissenschaft [prev. pubd as & cont. as Z. Dt. Ver. Kstwiss.], vol. 11/(3–4) (1957), pp. 141–74
  • A. Hubel: ‘Der Erminoldmeister und die deutsche Skulptur des 13. Jahrhunderts’, Beiträge zur Geschichte des Bistums Regensburg, vol. 8 (1974), pp. 53–241
  • H. Belting: ‘Engel in Bayern oder: Bayerische Engel in der Kunst?’, Aufsätze zur Kunstgeschichte: Festschrift für Hermann Bauer zum 60. Geburtstag, ed. K. Mosender and A. Prater (Hildesheim, Zurich, and New York, 1991)

Master of the E-Series Tarocchi

  • Marco Collareta

(fl Ferrara, c. 1465).

Italian engraver. Levenson gave the name to the author of a series of 50 engravings that constitutes one of the finest achievements of Italian printmaking in the 15th century. The series is subdivided into five sets of ten engravings; each image is titled and numbered within its set, and a letter indicates to which set it belongs. The sets consist of the Conditions of Man (E), Apollo and the Muses (D), the Liberal Arts (C), the Cosmic Principles (B) and the Firmaments of the Universe (A). A second version of the series exists in which the ‘E’ of the first group is replaced with the letter ‘S’. It has been generally accepted that the E-series is the original set and that the S-series is derived from it. Two figures from the E-series were copied in a manuscript of 1467 (Bologna, Archv Stato, Costituzione dello studio bolognese), which provides a terminus ante quem for the dating of the series.

Both the E-series and the S-series were traditionally referred to as ‘Mantegna’s Tarocchi’, but the engravings cannot have been intended to serve as tarocchi (tarot cards), since they do not correspond to the game either in number or in iconography; it is debatable if they formed a game at all, since some examples are bound together in a kind of pictorial encyclopedia (e.g. Paris, Bib. N.). The original designs for the cards can be attributed neither to Mantegna nor to one of his pupils but to an artist active in Ferrara, almost certainly identifiable as the Master of the E-Series Tarocchi who engraved the series. The Master is also responsible for two other engravings, the Death of Orpheus and Cupids at the Vintage, the latter of which is copied in a manuscript of 1466 (Vienna, Österreich. Nbib., Ser. nov. 4643, frontispiece).

The Master was extremely skilled technically, and his refined style is well suited to the erudite humanist subjects he illustrated. His work has more in common with manuscript illumination than with monumental painting. The plasticity of the figures is emphasized by the use of clear outlines and delicate shading, as can be seen in the Emperor of the E-Series Tarocchi. The iconographic programme of this series is particularly complete, and the series has been used as a source of iconographic borrowings. Copies of some of the figures appear in two versions of the poem De imaginibus gentilium deorum by the humanist Ludovico Lazzarelli (Rome, Bib. Vaticana, Cod. Urb. Lat. 716, 717), one of which can be dated 1471, and also in Dürer’s early drawings.


  • P. Kristeller: Die Tarocchi (Berlin, 1910)
  • H. Brockhaus: ‘Ein edles Geduldspiel: “Die Leitung der Welt oder die Himmelsleiter”, die sogennanten Taroks Mantegnas vom Jahre 1459–60’, Miscellanea di storia dell’arte in onore di Igino Benvenuto Supino (Florence, 1933), pp. 397–410
  • K. Clark: Letter, Burlington Magazine, vol. 62 (1933), p. 143
  • A. M. Hind: Early Italian Engraving: A Critical Catalogue (London, 1938–48), vol. 1, pp. 221–40
  • K. Rathe: ‘Sulla classificazione cronologica di alcuni incunabuli calcografici italiani’, Maso Finiguerra, vol. 5 (1940), pp. 3–13 (7–10)
  • E. Panofsky: The Life and Art of Albrecht Dürer (Princeton, 1943, rev. 2/1948), vol. 1, p. 31; vol. 2, pp. 102–3
  • L. Donati: ‘Le fonti iconografiche di alcuni manoscritti urbinati della Biblioteca Vaticana: Osservazioni intorno ai cosiddetti “Tarocchi del Mantegna”’, La Bibliofila, vol. 60 (1958), pp. 48–129
  • E. Ruhmer: Francesco del Cossa (Munich, 1959), pp. 66–8
  • J. Levenson, K. Oberhuber, and J. Sheehan: Early Italian Engravings from the National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC, 1973), pp. 81–157
  • M. Bregoli-Russo: ‘I Tarocchi nel Rinascimento italiano’, Letteratura italiana e arte figurativa. Atti del XII convegno dell’Associazione internazionle per gli studi di lingua e letteratura italiana: Toronto, Hamilton and Montreal, 1985 (Florence, 1988), pp. 405–15
  • Tarocchi, le carte del destino (exh. cat. by G. Berti, G. Marsili, and A. Vitali; Foligno, Oratorio del Gonfalone, 1990)
  • ‘Tarocchi’: Menschenwelt und Kosmos; Ladenspelder, Dürer und die ‘Tarock-Karten des Mantegna’ (exh. cat. by U. Westfehling; Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Mus, 1998–9)
  • R. Magnani: ‘Aspetti di cultura e di costume alla corte estense nel Quattrocento: I simboli dei tarocchi nella ceramica ferrarese’, CeramicAntica, vol. 11(2) (2001), pp. 36–47
  • G. Berti: ‘I cosiddetti Tarocchi del Mantegna’, A casa di Andrea Mantegna: Cultura artistica a Mantova nel Quattrocento, ed. R. Signorini (Milan, 2006), pp. 198–307

Master of Evert van Soudenbalch

  • Bodo Brinkmann

(fl Utrecht, c. 1460–70).

Illuminator, active in the northern Netherlands. This name was given to the major illuminator of a two-volume Bible (Vienna, Österreich. Nbib., Cod. 2771–2), made for Evert van Soudenbalch, a canon of Utrecht Cathedral from 1445 to 1503, who is shown being presented to the Virgin on fol. 10r of the first volume. The text, in Middle Dutch, is a compilation of texts from the Bible and historical works including the Alexander romance and extracts from Flavius Josephus, with commentaries from Petrus Comestor’s Historia scolastica. As a consequence of those contents, the 244 miniatures and 33 historiated initials are iconographically most unusual. The Master of Evert van Soudenbalch devised the scenes with a psychological insight comparable with Rembrandt’s treatment of biblical history two centuries later and was perhaps the first artist to give convincing expression to such feelings as jealousy, consternation, self-doubt, and resignation (Delaissé, 1968). His achievements in technique are equally notable: the use of small brushstrokes of colour achieves a variety of surface effects, so that objects appear strongly modified by light and shade. This enabled him to differentiate facial expressions, to achieve an astonishing three-dimensionality of modelling and to give a lively appearance to drapery surfaces. The contrasting of complementary shades that characterizes his use of colour is nonetheless combined with a sensitivity to middle tones. Thus steel blue is set against ochre and dark blue-green against violet. Flesh tones are highlighted orange and shaded olive green. Figures are mobile and show his command of unusual viewpoints: they are often seen from behind or from below to heighten the dramatic quality of his compositions. The most astonishing demonstration of the individuality of characterization and the vivid quality of the Master’s work is in a manuscript on paper, a Middle Dutch work of natural history (Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bib., Cod. Guelf. 18.2. Aug. 4°).

Although the Master of Evert van Soudenbalch was the best among them, he often worked in collaboration with other illuminators. In the Vienna Bible the work of six different painters can be distinguished. The Master of Evert van Soudenbalch painted most of the miniatures in the first volume but none in the second. A few miniatures of the first volume and some of the later ones of the second were produced by a painter who has been called the Master of the Fleecy Clouds. As the distinctive cloud formation is not included in other manuscripts, however, this painter should more properly be called the Master of the London Passional after another of his works (London, BL, Add. MS. 18162). The painter of the beginning of the second volume of the Bible also painted all but one of the miniatures in a Book of Hours (U. Liège, Bib. Gén., MS. Wittert 13) made no later than c. 1460 for Gijsbrecht van Brederode, Bishop of Utrecht. The exceptional miniature of the Last Judgement (fol. 39v) was produced by the Master of Evert van Soudenbalch himself.

The most important Book of Hours in this group is the manuscript known from its second owner as the Hours of Mary van Vronenstein (Brussels, Bib. Royale Albert 1er, MS. II. 7619). The book had belonged first to Jan van Amerongen, and the 12 full-page pictures by the Master of Evert van Soudenbalch were perhaps added when it changed hands. Several historiated initials and borders were painted by the Master of the London Passional. The date 1460 is marked on an astronomical chart in the manuscript, providing a point of reference for the chronological classification of this group of manuscripts. Two other Books of Hours contain illumination attributable to these artists: one in Liège (U. Liège, Bib. Gén., MS. Wittert 34), with historiated initials by the Master of Gijsbrecht van Brederode and border decoration by the Master of the London Passional, and another (Los Angeles, CA, Getty Mus., MS. Ludwig IX. 10) with a miniature of the Coronation of the Virgin by the Master of Evert van Soudenbalch surrounded by a border with music-making angels (fol. 15v).

Both owners and liturgical aspects of these manuscripts link them to Utrecht, and, in addition, Scillia established links between them and woodcuts in Utrecht, incunabula. These illuminators therefore undoubtedly worked in Utrecht, where they comprised the most important workshop of the period around 1460.

They also had connections with the southern Netherlands. Marrow attributed a whole series of manuscripts certainly produced in Ghent to the Master of the London Passional. These can be dated after his Utrecht works: it appears he had moved to Ghent. A most curious connection with Flanders on the one hand and with England on the other is provided by a Book of Hours in Oxford (Bodleian Lib., MS. Auct. D.inf.2.13), which has exquisite pictures painted in grisaille by the Master of Evert van Soudenbalch. The Office of the Virgin is for the Use of Sarum, and the manuscript was therefore undoubtedly intended for the English market. The borders framing the miniatures are either English or at least imitate English decoration. The facing text pages have the same borders along with historiated initials, painted in grisaille in the style of the south Netherlandish illuminator Willem Vrelant.

In addition to the manuscript illuminations, a panel painting has been attributed to the Master of Evert van Soudenbalch. This triptych (Utrecht, Cent. Mus.) has a central Crucifixion with the Mass of St Gregory and a St Christopher depicted on the wing panels. When closed the wings show an Annunciation in grisaille. There is a view of Utrecht in the background of the Crucifixion showing the cathedral under construction, as it was c. 1457–67. Boon connected a Mount of Calvary (Providence, RI, Sch. Des., Mus. A.) with the Utrecht Crucifixion. Both works follow the same models, which were also the basis for miniatures on similar themes in the Hours of Mary van Vronenstein (fols 123v and 54v).

Boon also attributed two further works to the painter of these panels: a Nailing to the Cross (Liverpool, Walker A.G.) and a Tree of Jesse (Utrecht, Buurkerk), which is thought to have borne the date 1451. He suggested the possibility of identifying this ‘Master of the Tree of Jesse in the Buurkerk’ with the Master of Evert van Soudenbalch. The relationship of these paintings to the miniatures is indisputable.


  • L. M. J. Delaissé: ‘Le Livre d’heures de Mary van Vronenstein, chef-d’oeuvre inconnu d’un atelier d’Utrecht, achevé en 1460’, Scriptorium, vol. 3 (1949), pp. 230–45
  • K. G. Boon: ‘Een Utrechtse schilder uit de 15de eeuw, de Meester van de Boom van Jesse in de Buurkerk’, Oud-Holland, vol. 76 (1961), pp. 51–60
  • L. M. J. Delaissé: A Century of Dutch Manuscript Illumination (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1968), pp. 41–9
  • La Miniature hollandaise (exh. cat., Brussels, Bib. Royale Albert 1er, 1971), pp. 36–8, 55–6
  • O. Pächt and U. Jenni: Die illuminierten Handschriften und Inkunabeln der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek: Holländische Schule, 2 vols (Vienna, 1975), vol. 1, pp. 43–85; vol. 2, pls 80–261
  • D. G. Scillia: ‘The Master of the London Passional: Johann Veldener’s “Utrecht Cutter”’, The Early Illustrated Book: Essays in Honor of Lessing J. Rosenwald (Washington, DC, 1982), pp. 23–40
  • J. H. Marrow: ‘Prolegomena to a New Descriptive Catalogue of Dutch Illuminated Manuscripts’, Miscellanea Neerlandica: Opstellen voor Dr Jan Deschamps ter gelegenheid van zijn zeventigste verjaardag, vol. 1 (Leuven, 1987), pp. 295–309

Master of the Évora Altarpiece

  • Femy Horsch

(fl c. 1490–1500).

South Netherlandish painter, active in Portugal. He is named after his only known work, a polyptych of the Life of the Virgin, in nineteen panels, all but four of which are in the Museu Regional in Évora. The large central panel shows the Virgin in Glory. Twelve side panels narrate the Life and Death of the Virgin; four of these are in Lisbon: the Presentation of the Virgin, the Marriage of the Virgin, the Presentation in the Temple, and the Death of the Virgin (Lisbon, Mus. N. A. Ant.). Six relatively small panels with scenes from the Passion of Christ supposedly comprise part of the predella.

The altarpiece was commissioned for the choir of Évora Cathedral, and the plan for this monumental work may have been conceived during the marriage celebrations for the Infante Don Alfonso of Portugal (1475–91) in 1490. Reis-Santos thus dated the central panel to c. 1490, while the other parts were probably painted some ten years later, a theory based on stylistic differences between the central and side panels.

There has been some discussion as to whether the predella scenes ever belonged to the same altarpiece, though apparently made by the same artist who painted the side panels; there are, according to Reis-Santos, similarities between the two groups in the style of faces, gestures, and postures.

According to Friedländer, the polyptych was painted by an outstanding south Netherlandish artist, familiar with the work of Hugo van der Goes, and with the help of assistants. He suggested that the painting of the Virgin in Glory is derived from a lost original by van der Goes. Others have proposed Gerard David and his workshop. De Figueiredo attributed the altarpiece to the workshop of David, working in cooperation with an artist who painted in the style of Albert Bouts. In support of this thesis, he cited a ten-month stay in Portugal during 1501 by Roelof van Velpen (fl 1491–1501), who was a native of Leuven.


  • M. J. Friedländer: Die altniederländische Malerei (Berlin, 1924–37); Eng. trans. as Early Netherlandish Painting (Leiden, 1967–76), vol. 4, p. 89
  • J. de Figueiredo: ‘Metsys e Portugal’, Melangen Hulin de Loo (Brussels and Paris, 1931), pp. 163–4
  • M. J. Friedländer: ‘Eine Zeichnung von Hugo van der Goes’, Pantheon: Internationale Zeitschrift für Kunst [cont. as Bruckmanns Pantheon], vol. 8 (1935), pp. 99–104
  • L. Reis-Santos: Obras-primas da pintura flamenga dos seculos XV e XVI em Portugal (Lisbon, 1953; Eng. trans., 1962), pp. 67–72 [preface by M. J. Friedländer]
  • J. Couto: ‘Restoration of the Polyptych of the Chancel of the Cathedral of Évora’, Studies in Conservation: The Journal of the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, vol. 3 (1957), pp. 30–33
  • D. Martens: ‘La Vièrge en Majesté de l’ancien retable de la Se d’Évora: Une oeuvre brugeoise des années 1500’, Gazette des beaux-arts [suppl. is Chron. A.], vol. 126 (1995), pp. 211–22

Master of the Fabriano Altarpiece.

See Puccio di Simone.

Fastolf Master [Master of Sir John Fastolf]

  • Catherine Reynolds

(fl c. 1420–60).

Illuminator, active in France and England. The Master’s name comes from a manuscript containing the Livre des quatre vertus and the Epître d’Othéa (Oxford, Bodleian Lib., MS. Laud. misc. 570) made for Sir John Fastolf (d 1459), who had added substantial profits from the French wars to his English inheritance. The book was produced in England and was dated 1450 by the English scribe Ricardus Franciscus, but the miniatures are thoroughly French in style. They combine an emphasis on surface, from reinforced outlines and flat patterning, with some effect of volume from the drapery modelling of his often angular, elongated figures, and a degree of three-dimensional illusion in the architectural settings. Landscapes are flatter compilations of stylized natural details, where any recession through overlapping forms is negated by the gold of the starry skies.

Early in his career the Fastolf Master seems to have worked in Paris, since miniatures by him and the Boucicaut Master are found together in a Book of Hours of Paris Use datable c. 1420 (New York, Morgan Lib. & Mus., MS. M. 100). He continued to use his extensive knowledge of Boucicaut Master compositions after he had left the capital for the greater prosperity of Rouen, a centre of English administration and settlement. Miniatures in several liturgical manuscripts for Rouen and other Norman uses, such as Coutances (Paris, Bib. Arsenal, MS. 560), have been attributed to the Fastolf Master. The earliest, datable from the calendar before 1424, is a Book of Hours of Rouen Use (New York, Morgan Lib. & Mus., MS. M. 27), ordered for a member of the Guerin or Garin family, probably Jean, a canon of Rouen Cathedral. The patron who commissioned a handsome French Missal (Oxford, Keble Coll. Lib., MS. 38) is unknown.

The Fastolf Master was also employed by English patrons such as Sir William Porter, last cited in France in 1431, for his Book of Hours (New York, Morgan Lib. & Mus., MS. M. 105) and the anonymous owner of another Hours of Sarum Use (Oxford, Bodleian Lib., MS. Auct. D inf. 2 II). Perhaps some years before the surrender of Rouen in 1449 he definitively allied himself to his English clients and crossed to England. The liturgical manuscripts to which he contributed, such as the Psalter with a London calendar (Oxford, Bodleian Lib., MS. Hatton 45), suggest that he settled in London, the likely home of Ricardus Franciscus, with whom he collaborated on at least one other book (London, BL, Harley MS. 2915).

Despite his apparent popularity in England, the Fastolf Master does not seem greatly to have influenced native artists, who continued to work in the style largely formed by Netherlandish and Rhenish immigrants and sustained by the growing trade in Netherlandish manuscripts. The Fastolf Master himself contributed to a Book of Hours of Sarum Use (New York, Morgan Lib. & Mus., MS. G. 9) where the chief miniaturist was a Netherlander, English illuminators supplying the subsidiary decoration. Despite the predominance of the Low Countries, some trade in books continued, or was re-established, with Rouen, and it was there that the Fastolf Master had most impact, both directly and through the §I, (see below). His linear clarity made his compositions easy to reproduce, and his style was an important element in the expanding Rouen book trade, which was already developing the techniques for the repetitive mass production characteristic of its later output.


  • J. J. G. Alexander: ‘A Lost Leaf from a Bodleian Book of Hours’, Bodleian Library Record, vol. 8 (1971), pp. 248–51
  • J. D. Farquhar: Creation and Imitation: The Work of a Fifteenth Century Manuscript Illuminator, Nova University Studies in the Humanities, vol. 1 (Fort Lauderdale, 1976), pp. 59–60
  • M. Parkes: The Medieval Manuscripts of Keble College, Oxford (London, 1977), MS.38
  • E. P. Spencer: The Sobieski Hours: A Manuscript in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle [Roxburghe Club, no. 239] (London, 1977)
  • The Last Flowering: French Painting in Manuscripts, 1420–1530, from American Collections (exh. cat. by J. Plummer and G. Clarke, New York, Pierpont Morgan Lib., 1982), pp. 1–2, no. 1, pp. 15–16, nos 21–3
  • W. C. M. Wüstefeld: ‘A Remarkable Prayer Roll, Attributed to the Master of Sir John Fastolf (Rouen, c. 1440), Museum Catharijneconvent, Utrecht, MS ABM h4a)’, Quaerendo, vol. 33(1–2) (Winter–Spring 2003), pp. 233–46

Master of the Female Half-lengths

(fl ?Antwerp, first half of the 16th century).

South Netherlandish painter or group of painters. The name is given to what was apparently a large workshop that specialized in small-scale panels of aristocratic young ladies in half-length and devotional scenes: they are shown reading, writing, or playing musical instruments, usually in a wood-panelled interior or against a neutral background. Some of the women are represented with an ointment jar, the attribute of Mary Magdalene.

1. Identification.

The Master was first distinguished as an individual artist in the 19th century. Friedländer included 67 paintings in his catalogue of the artist, and about 40 more have since been published, mainly panels in Spanish collections that were probably produced for export. None of these paintings is signed or dated, but two panels from the workshop (both Antwerp, Kon. Mus. S. Kst.) are copied after a lost Man of Sorrows designed by Jan Gossart in 1527.

The Master’s identity and the place and period of his activity have been widely disputed. Writers have attempted to place him in Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent, Mechelen, and the French court, dating his activity from the early to the late 16th century. It has been suggested that he was the French court painter Jean Clouet, because of the poetry of Clement Marot that can be read in songbooks held by the ladies in some of the paintings, but French music was also popular in Flanders at that time. The Master was also thought to be the poet and painter Lucas de Heere, who was active in Ghent. Benesch believed that the Half-length Master was one Hans Vereycke, who was described by van Mander as a landscape and portrait painter in Bruges. Benesch’s theory is based on a landscape drawing (Paris, Louvre) that he ascribed to the Master, which is inscribed with Vereycke’s name in a later hand. However, according to Hulin de Loo (see 1902 exh. cat.), Vereycke is identical with a painter named Jan van Eeckele, who first registered in the Guild of St Luke in Bruges in 1534 and died there in 1561, thus too late for the style of the landscapes in the paintings assigned to the Master. Bergmans (see 1963 exh. cat.) located the Master in the cultural centre of Mechelen because of the emphasis on music and art that he saw in the paintings of the young women.

More persuasively, Friedländer and Koch placed the artist in Antwerp and Mechelen in the 1520s and 1530s, owing to the closeness of the landscapes to those of Joachim Patinir and the similarity of the female types to those of Bernart van Orley. Koch believed that the artist may have been trained in Patinir’s shop in Antwerp c. 1520. This proposal has since been accepted by a number of writers, who have tried to identify the Master’s hand in the background landscapes of paintings by Antwerp artists such as Quentin Metsys (e.g. the Virgin and Child in a Landscape, Poznań, N. Mus.). Furthermore, the compositions and use of Italianate architectural ornament in panels of the Adoration of the Magi by the Master (e.g. Munich, Alte Pin.; Berlin, Bodemus.) suggest contact with Antwerp artists such as Jan de Beer, Pseudo-Bles, and other members of the so-called Antwerp Mannerists. It is now generally accepted that the paintings ascribed to the Master are by not one but several artists. No attempt has been made to sort out the hands, although it has been suggested that Marcellus Coffermans may have been one of the painters in the workshop.

2. Works.
  • Ellen Konowitz

Little is known about the original function of these panels of half-length ladies. Several women may be shown together, as in two panels depicting a Concert (Rohrau, Schloss; St Petersburg, Hermitage), or single figures may be depicted alone, as in the Magdalene Reading (Paris, Louvre). The inventory of King Henry VIII of England lists paintings of similar subjects, for instance a picture of a woman playing a lute, with a book and a pot of lilies. A passage in Pierre de Bourdeille Brantôme’s Vie des dames galantes describes paintings of women with flutes that were brought from Flanders to France and hung above fireplaces in inns and taverns.

The Master’s female type is very distinctive, with a heart-shaped face, often turned in three-quarter view, with lowered eyes, a straight, thin nose, and high, narrow eyebrows. Typically, the women wear a close-fitting velvet dress with a low neckline, and their hair is parted in the centre and partly covered by a cap. The same figure type appears in the devotional panels of the Virgin, which the workshop produced in great numbers. The Virgin usually wears a transparent veil over her hair and, almost as a trademark, a small metallic button on her bodice or headband. The Christ Child is nude, slightly elongated and muscular; Joseph is bald with a long, forked beard. Characteristic are the two panels of the Rest on the Flight into Egypt (London, N.G.; Philadelphia, PA, Mus. A., Johnson Col.) and the Virgin and Child with a Book (St Petersburg, Hermitage).

The Master and his workshop also produced replicas of standardized compositions such as the Crucifixion, the Deposition, the Virgin of Sorrows, St Jerome, and Lucretia. There are also a few paintings of mythological subjects, for example the Judgement of Paris (Amsterdam, Rijksmus., on loan to The Hague, Mauritshuis), and several portraits of anonymous sitters are attributed to him (Budapest, Mus. F.A.; Vienna, Ksthist. Mus.). Compositions are frequently borrowed from other Netherlandish artists, for instance the Man of Sorrows after the lost work by Gossart mentioned earlier; several panels of the Virgin and Child with a Book (e.g. ex-Gal. Pallavicini, Rome) are after a design by van Orley of c. 1520. As was the vogue in Netherlandish art in the early 16th century, the Master often derived the poses of the Virgin and Child from panels of the 15th-century artist Rogier van der Weyden, undoubtedly as a reference to the great heritage of the past. Italian prints were also occasionally a source. Panels of Venus and Cupid and Neptune and Thetis (both Berlin, Gemäldegal.) are after engravings by Gian Giacomo Caraglio.

The landscape backgrounds in paintings of the Half-length group follow the general formula developed by Patinir and also borrow specific details. For instance, in the Master’s versions of the Rest on the Flight into Egypt (e.g. Vienna, Ksthist. Mus.), he quoted from Patinir the scenes of the Miracle of the Wheatfield and the Fall of the Pagan Idol. Koch ascribed six panels to the Master that were formerly considered to be by Patinir. Among the other paintings for which the Master is thought to have provided the landscape background are another Rest on the Flight into Egypt (Toronto, A.G.), with figures in the style of van Orley, and Gossart’s signed and dated Virgin and Child (1521; Cleveland, OH, Mus. A.).


  • K. van Mander: Schilder-boeck ([1603]–1604)
  • Exposition des tableaux flamands des XIVe, XVe et XVIe siècles (exh. cat. by G. Hulin de Loo, Bruges, Groeningemus., 1902)
  • M. J. Friedländer: Die altniederländische Malerei (Berlin, 1924–37); Eng. trans. as Early Netherlandish Painting (Leiden, 1967–76), vol. 12, pp. 18–21
  • O. Benesch: ‘The Name of the Master of the Half-lengths’, Gazette des beaux-arts [suppl. is Chron. A.], vol. 23 (1943), pp. 269–82
  • J. H. Perrera: ‘Museo Español del Maestro de las Medias Figuras’, Goya, vol. 49 (1962), pp. 2–11
  • Le Siècle de Bruegel: La Peinture en Belgique au XVIe siècle (exh. cat., Brussels, Mus. A. Anc., 1963), pp. 170–72 [entries by S. Bergmans]
  • R. A. Koch: Joachim Patinir (Princeton, 1968) [with further bibliog.]
  • M. Diaz Padrón: ‘Nuevas pinturas del Maestro de las Medias Figuras’, Archivo español de arte [prev. pubd as Archv Esp. A. & Arqueol.], vol. 210 (1980), pp. 169–84
  • M. Diaz Padrón: ‘Pinturas flamencas del XVI: Tablas del Maestro de las Medias Figuras identificadas en España’, Archivo español de arte [prev. pubd as Archv Esp. A. & Arqueol.], vol. 209 (1982), pp. 273–86

Master of the Figdor Deposition [Master of the Martyrdom of St Lucy; Master of the Page beneath the Cross; Pseudo-Geertgen]

  • Femy Horsch

(fl late 15th century).

North Netherlandish painter. His name is derived from a painting of the Deposition, formerly in the collection of Dr Albert Figdor, Vienna, and sold in 1930 to the Staatlichen Museen, Berlin, where it was destroyed in 1945. The Master was a follower of Geertgen tot Sint Jans and played an important role in the development of painting in Haarlem. The Master mirrors Geertgen’s style, as is evident in a comparison of Geertgen’s Burning of the Bones of St John the Baptist (Vienna, Ksthist. Mus.) with the Master’s Martyrdom of St Lucy (Amsterdam, Rijksmus.): composition, figures, colour, and landscape are very alike, yet the Master’s drawing is not as good, and in the Deposition he shows a new tendency towards sometimes extreme mobility of the figures.

The Deposition and the Martyrdom of St Lucy constitute the core of the Master’s oeuvre. Both panels were originally the same size and were probably the two sides of the left wing of an altarpiece. Hoogewerff coined the name ‘Master of the Page beneath the Cross’ after a figure in a Crucifixion (Amsterdam, Rijksmus.) that he ascribed to the same artist. This painting, however, is clearly of lesser quality than the others, and its authenticity has been disputed by authorities including Friedländer. Friedländer saw in the Master’s work a connection between the Haarlem and Amsterdam schools and suggested that the painter may have been a teacher of Jacob Cornelisz. Several identifications have been made: Valentiner thought that he might have been one of the brothers Mouwerijn (fl before 1473; d 1509) or Claes Simonsz. van Waterlandt (fl 1485–90), a hypothesis further expanded by Châtelet; another possibility is the young Jacob Cornelisz. van Oostsanen, but this has not been widely accepted as Kunze argued against it; Hoogewerff tried to identify the Master with Jan Gerritsz. Swegher (d 1514).


  • W. R. Valentiner: Aus der niederländischen Kunst (Berlin, 1914), pp. 68–71
  • M. J. Friedländer: Die altniederländische Malerei (Berlin, 1924–37); Eng. trans. as Early Netherlandish Painting (Leiden, 1967–76), vol. 5, pp. 77, 96
  • G. J. Hoogewerff: De Noord-Nederlandsche schilderkunst, 5 vols (The Hague, 1937–47), vol. 2, pp. 192, 211–20, 291, 389, 427; vol. 3, pp. 11, 22, 76, 78, 81, 92, 95, 144; vol. 4, p. 1; vol. 5, pp. 54–5
  • I. Kunze: ‘Neuerwerbungen niederländischer Gemälde’, Berliner Museen: Berichte aus den Staatlichen Museen preussischer Kulturbesitz [prev. pubd as Amtl. Ber. Kön. Kstsamml.; cont. as Berlin. Mus.: Ber. Ehem. Preuss. Kstsamml.], vol. 60 (1939), pp. 8–13
  • A. Châtelet: Early Dutch Painting: Painting in the Northern Netherlands in the Fifteenth Century (Amsterdam, 1980), pp. 138–40, 144, 227–8

Master of Figline.

See §I, .

Master of the First Prayerbook of Maximilian.

See §I, .

Master of the Fleecy Clouds.

See under §I, .

Master of Flémalle

(fl c. 1420–c. 1440).

South Netherlandish painter. With Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden, he determined the course of Netherlandish and thence much of European painting in the 15th century. There is good reason for identifying him with Robert Campin of Tournai, the master of van der Weyden.

1. Works.
(i) The Flémalle panels and related works.

The Master of Flémalle was named by von Tschudi in 1898 from three surviving panels (Frankfurt am Main, Städel. Kstinst. & Städt. Gal.) of a lost ensemble. The panels, depicting the Virgin and Child (1600×680 mm), St Veronica Holding the Vernicle (1515×610 mm) and a grisaille Trinity, were bought in 1849 from Ignaz van Houten of Aachen; he had obtained them from a priest in Liège who apparently said that they had come from an ‘abbey of Flémalle, near Liège’ and that the central panel had been destroyed at the Battle of Neerminden (1793). On the reverse of the Virgin and Child is a 17th- or 18th-century grisaille Mater dolorosa, which may repeat a lost original design. A large and expensive commission, the ensemble must have been intended for a location of some prestige and significance. Unfortunately, no abbey of Flémalle ever existed, nor did an ‘abbey of Falin, near Sedan’, an alternative version of van Houten’s information recorded by Sulpiz Boiserée. Reinach suggested that ‘Falin’ might be a corruption of Elant, the only abbey near Sedan and a suitable place for so splendid a work since it was the funerary church of the Counts of Nevers.

Von Tschudi also associated with the so-called Flémalle panels a fragment of a Crucified Thief with Two Onlookers (Frankfurt am Main, Städel. Kstinst. & Städt. Gal.), a connection already recognized by Passavant in 1858. The bloodless corpse of the Crucified Thief invites comparison with the dead Christ in the grisaille Trinity, while the exotic bystanders match the Virgin and St Veronica in the rich colouring and detailing of costume. A grisaille saint on the reverse of the Crucified Thief shows that the fragment came from a folding wing of a triptych. A greatly reduced copy of the later 15th century (Liverpool, Walker A.G.) preserves the entire composition in triptych form. The central panel shows the Deposition, and the other thief and a female bystander are on the left wing, where there is an unidentified kneeling donor who may either reflect the position of a donor on the original or be an insertion by the copyist. In the copy the sky is painted naturalistically, unlike the elaborately patterned but severely damaged gold background of the original fragment. The proportions have also been altered: the figures are spaced more widely, lessening the impact of the original tightly welded central group. Drawn copies of the Crucified Thief on the left wing (Cambridge, MA, Fogg) and of the central Deposition (Cambridge, Fitzwilliam) probably preserve the quality of the original more successfully than does the harshly executed painted copy. Calculating from the dimensions of the original surviving Thief (1330×925 mm), the central panel of the triptych must have measured 2.5×2.5 m; like the Flémalle panels, it must have formed part of a very large altarpiece.

The original painted Crucified Thief cannot be traced before 1811, when, already a fragment, it was in Aschaffenburg. It has been argued that the copy of the complete triptych came from the hospital of St Julian in Bruges, because of the grisaille figure of St Julian on the outer wing and the coat of arms, previously thought to be that of Bruges (now seen as possibly that of the Troche family). Certainly Bruges painters knew the composition: elements were used in the central Crucifixion of the scenes from the Passion of Christ in St Salvator, Bruges, and by Ambrosius Benson in his Deposition altarpiece (Segovia Cathedral). Miniatures in the Hours of Catherine of Cleves (New York, Morgan Lib. & Mus., MSS M. 917 and M. 945) and the Turin-Milan Hours, which also derive from the altarpiece, show that the design was familiar in the northern Netherlands and suggest that the original may date before c. 1430. The less assured drawing of the figures in the Crucified Thief fragment has led to general agreement to date it earlier than the Flémalle panels.

The Flémalle wings show that the Master was a great artist whose masterpieces of design fuse three-dimensional illusionism and decorative surface pattern to forceful emotional and intellectual effect. The youthful Virgin suckling the Child is movingly contrasted with the aged Veronica holding the vernicle. The figures convey credible feelings and are surely based on life drawings: the accuracy of their delineation is matched by the careful manipulation of tone so that light–dark contrasts maximize the bulk of the figures and the plausibility of the space they inhabit, a space both marked out and denied by the careful detailing of the flowery ground and forcefully curtailed by ornately patterned textile backdrops.

The equally realistic rendering of both plants and hangings makes their ‘unreal’ combination one of the factors that ensures that naturalistic effects do not detract from the paintings’ spiritual impact. Believable as people, the figures are yet removed from the mundane by their grandeur and serenity and by the rich splendour of colour and gilding in clothes and settings. The divine is only obviously symbolized in the miraculous image of the face of Christ on the vernicle and the haloes around the Virgin and Child.

Despite their technical brilliance and dramatic impact, the Flémalle compositions seem to have had few repercussions, perhaps because they were comparatively inaccessible. A bust-length tondo composition of a similarly veiled Virgin Suckling the Child (e.g. Philadelphia, PA, Mus. A.) may have originated from the Master as a cheap variant of the Flémalle Virgin and Child. No surviving picture approaches the quality of the Flémalle panels, and the differences between versions make it hard to be certain of the composition’s original form. A very successful image of the Virgin Suckling the Child, shown standing in the apse with attendant angels, which seems to have been favoured into the 16th century, relates to the Flémalle Virgin in basic concept only. The awkwardness of the apse in what seems the most faithful version (London, N.G.) as well as the more obtrusively contrived elegance of the Virgin’s support of the veil suggest that, if the design did originate with the Master of Flémalle, it would considerably antedate the Flémalle altarpiece.

A broader-format version of the grisaille Trinity, with the Father enthroned, seems to have been better known than the composition of the Flémalle wing itself. The figures are grouped under a baldacchino on the left wing of a small diptych (each panel, 285×185 mm; St Petersburg, Hermitage), surrounded by angels with instruments of the Passion, in a widely imitated design best recorded in another panel (Leuven, Mus. Vander Kelen-Mertens). In all three, the dead Christ still raises one hand to display the wound in his side, but in the Flémalle grisaille alone one foot is tilted so that the nail hole is seen, more horrifyingly, in the sole. The other wounds are almost lost in the deadness of the pose, in contrast to the careful arrangement of hands and feet in the variants. The jarring angularity of Christ’s legs is reinforced by the shadow of his left knee on his right leg, just as the power of the upright Father is stressed by the shadow of his head. Umbra and penumbra are meticulously distinguished, and the cast shadows combine with the more subtle depictions of light and shade to create a limited but plausible space. The compression of the two figures preserves a notion of carving from the block, a sculptural effect increased by the incised inscription on the pedestal and the anchoring of the dove to Christ’s shoulder.

(ii) Other attributions.

While the exceptional quality of the Flémalle panels and the Crucified Thief and their exhibition in the same public collection ensured that von Tschudi’s naming of the Master of Flémalle gained widespread acceptance, there has been equally widespread disagreement about the precise limits of the artist’s oeuvre. Von Tschudi subsumed into his Master of Flémalle the works attributed by Bode to his §I, (see below). Yet once the separate authorship of the Merode Triptych (New York, Cloisters) is accepted, it is possible to establish which works belong with the principal works by the Master of Flémalle and which, while stylistically related, should be assigned to other artists working under his influence or direction. Such attributions are bound to remain controversial, given the inadequate knowledge of 15th-century workshop practice. Any picture, particularly on the scale of the Flémalle panels, is likely to have been worked on by assistants, so that the hand of the Master has to be sought in the overall design and in the execution of at least the principal parts. Scale has also to be taken into consideration when comparing smaller paintings associated with the Master’s name.

In what is hypothetically considered the Master’s earliest work, the Seilern Triptych (London, Courtauld Inst. Gals), his genius for visual expression is combined with as yet incomplete technical skill. This small folding triptych (600×499 mm when closed) has the Entombment on the central panel, with the Two Thieves and the empty Cross on the left wing above an unidentified donor, and the Resurrection on the right. Despite the difference in scale and the proposed early date—in the 1420s, judging by the donor’s costume—the Seilern Triptych resembles the lost Deposition triptych, not only in the presence and appearance of the thieves and the body of Christ but also in fundamental principles of design. In both, the figures of the crowded central panel are thrown into even greater relief by the imagined depth of the landscapes in the wings, although the Deposition wings are articulated with considerably greater skill and have a gold ground instead of a sky. The orientalizing costume takes on a more literally descriptive role in the Entombment since Christ is being buried in a striped prayer shawl in accordance with Jewish custom. The desire for spatial coherence is evident yet still not satisfactorily met: the fence curving round the tomb of the Resurrection extends into the central panel to mark off the depiction of the same tomb. Comparable in scale and probably in date is a fragment representing St John the Baptist from a small wing panel (Cleveland, OH, Mus. A.), which, as in the Flémalle wings, shows the saint against a rich textile hanging.

A small panel of the Nativity (870×700 mm; Dijon, Mus. B.-A.) shows many features of the Flémalle panels in conception and many compositional devices from the Deposition triptych. In both, the figures are basically arranged in two rows with a foreground figure seen unusually in back view; fluttering angels with sharply pointed wings animate the upper areas; and a landscape of conical hills is linked to the middle ground by a wide road. The elaboration and exploitation of narrative detail are seen again in the presence of the two midwives; their less familiar role is explained in the curling banderoles, which act as focusing devices and as a unifying force in the coherence of surface decoration with spatial illusionism. The orientalizing costumes of the midwives again show the Master’s awareness of the New Testament as a record of events in the East, and the meticulous depiction of the more fantastic detail ensures that the figures lose none of their credibility.

A painting of the Adoration of the Magi (Berlin, Gemäldegal.) seems to be an accurate copy of an earlier composition by the Master of Flémalle, best recorded in a drawing (Berlin, Kupferstichkab.). Painted versions (Verona, Castelvecchio, and Cambridge, Fitzwilliam), in which the stable is more simply set parallel to the picture plane, are less faithful to the presumed original. Unlike the Dijon Nativity, which ambitiously links the background, middle ground and foreground, in this composition the tightly grouped figures obscure the middle ground, leaving a distant landscape view to appear in isolation in the upper left corner.

Master of Flémalle: Annunciation, oil on panel, c. 1420–28 (Brussels, Musée d’Art Ancien); photo credit: Scala/Art Resource, NY

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The two-event narrative of the Miracle of the Rods and the Marriage of the Virgin (765×880 mm; Madrid, Prado) led the Master to separate yet link the scenes by elaborate architectural settings. The result lacks the certainty of the Nativity, but the figure types, expressive gestures, back-view figures and exotic costumes all reveal his hand, evident also in the delicate execution. On the right, the Virgin is married in an incomplete Gothic portal, not yet properly joined to the adjacent, vaguely Romanesque temple, a careful visualization of the separateness yet interdependence of the Old and New dispensations. From the rightwards emphasis, the panel must have formed the left wing of some folding ensemble to which an Annunciation (Madrid, Prado), also given to the Escorial by Philip II, would seem to have belonged. Cut down (765×702 mm) and with a planed reverse, it is hard to re-create its relationship with the Marriage and whatever other panels may have existed. The Virgin Annunciate and Gabriel show the Master of Flémalle’s characteristically broad and bulky figure types, and the churchlike structure is entirely congruent with the architectural fantasies of the Marriage of the Virgin. Nevertheless, the execution is inferior, and the Annunciation is usually considered a workshop product. The Annunciation (Brussels, Mus. A. Anc.) in which the Virgin sits in a contemporary domestic interior, has claims to be considered an original by the Master. There are significant changes between the underdrawn design and the paint surface, particularly in the fireplace. The many derivatives, in sculpture as well as painting, including the Merode Triptych, follow the painted composition, suggesting that the Brussels Annunciation marks the origin of the design on which the other versions depend.

It is likely that domestic scenes of the Virgin and Child in an interior also originated from the Master of Flémalle, although no specific composition can be credited to him with any certainty. The right wing of the diptych in St Petersburg shows the Child lying across his mother’s knee while she warms her hand at the fire. There is a variant of this composition (London, N.G.), seemingly of much higher quality. In the Salting Virgin and Child (London, N.G.), attributed to Jacques Daret, the Virgin suckles the Child before a firescreen that acts as a halo. Her exaggeratedly wide face, with its ugly, stylized features, is a coarsened version of the broad shapes of the Flémalle Virgin, with her curving downcast eyelids, and the empty artificiality of the Child’s gesture contrasts markedly with the tender expressiveness of the Flémalle panel.

When compared with the immaculately detailed heads of the Flémalle panels, the pendant Portrait of a Man and Portrait of a Woman (both London, N.G.) can also safely be attributed to the Master, their extraordinary quality being even more apparent after cleaning in 1987. Using the three-quarters view, as did van Eyck, the Master of Flémalle angled the bodies more acutely to emphasize volume and shaded the far side of the face for maximum relief. The Portrait of a Fat Man (Berlin, Gemäldegal.), inconclusively identified as Robert de Masmines (d 1430), shows a similar treatment of the form of the head. Copies made in the 16th century of portraits of Bartholomy Alatruye and his wife (dep. Tournai, Mus. B.-A.) retain characteristics of the Master of Flémalle; judging from the costume, the originals must have been later than the closely comparable National Gallery pendants, whose dress seems appropriate for the 1430s.

Other than portraits, secular works attributable to the Master of Flémalle have not survived. A scene of the Vengeance of Tomyris, imitated into the 17th century, was preserved in a picture that came from Spain (ex-Kaiser-Friedrich Mus., Berlin; destr. World War II); it clearly showed its origins with the Master of Flémalle in figure types, compositional devices and decorative detail. The bloody story from Herodotus of Tomyris’ vengeance on the King of Persia for the death of her son is forcefully conveyed with all the Master’s narrative skill, the horror mitigated by the gentleness of the curves orchestrating the composition. It was possibly part of a series to which also belonged a composition with Jael and Sisera, a subject close in content to that of Tomyris, which is preserved in a Flémallesque-style drawing (Brunswick, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Mus.).

Other pictures with Flémallesque characteristics do not display the Master’s genius for purposeful composition and must be the work of followers or assistants of varying skills: the Virgin and Child in a Glory (Aix-en-Provence, Mus. Granet), for instance, is extremely well painted, the Virgin and Child in a Garden (Berlin, Gemäldegal.) less so. The Crucifixion (Berlin, Gemäldegal.) combines thoroughly Flémallesque figure types and costumes into an incoherent whole, as does the Virgin and Child with Saints (Washington, DC, N.G.A.).

2. Identity.

None of the pictures by the Master of Flémalle or the copies that appear to be faithful records of his inventions has a certain date or provenance. Barthelmy Alatruye, married in 1411, came from a Lille family but travelled widely as a leading member of the Burgundian administration and was at The Hague when he died in 1446. One Flémallesque work does have a named patron and date: the wing panels of St John the Baptist with Heinrich Werl, and St Barbara (Madrid, Prado), Werl’s name and the date 1438 being recorded in an inscription. The empty gestures, the weakly conceived donor figure, and the incoherent fussiness of setting remove these from the Master of Flémalle to a closer association with the Master of Merode, but they do provide a certain date with some relation to the Flémalle oeuvre. Given this lack of firm historical evidence, any attempt to localize and date the work of the Master of Flémalle must be based on stylistic comparisons.

The works of Rogier van der Weyden (see Weyden, van der family, §1) reveal a pervasive awareness of the Master of Flémalle’s feeling for the emotional content of a picture and its expression through facial features and gestures as well as more subtle configurations of line, shape, and colour. There are also instances of direct quotations. For example, van der Weyden’s great Deposition (before 1443; Madrid, Prado) is almost a reworking of the Master of Flémalle’s central Deposition panel. More curiously, the face of the Fat Man was used by Rogier for the figure usually identified as Nicodemus, suggesting access to the Master’s studio drawings. Moreover, the central panel of the Nativity in van der Weyden’s Bladelin Triptych (Berlin, Gemäldegal.) reflects the Master’s Dijon Nativity, a relationship even clearer in the underdrawing of the van der Weyden composition, which includes a banderole like that in the Dijon Nativity. More literal still are the correspondences between the work of the Master of Flémalle and the documented wings from the St Vaast altarpiece by Jacques Daret. The physical types are very similar, with features and costumes drawn from a range of prototypes, while the compositions reuse specific originals: Daret’s Nativity, the Master’s Dijon Nativity; his Adoration of the Magi, the work recorded in a copy in Berlin; his Presentation in the Temple, the temple structure and some of the figures of the Prado Marriage of the Virgin.

Both Jacques Daret and Rogier van der Weyden were apprenticed to the Tournai painter Robert Campin. The simplest explanation of the profound yet independent influence of the Master of Flémalle on the art of both is to identify the Master of Flémalle with Campin.

Campin’s dates, c. 1375–1444, are compatible with what is known of the Flémalle oeuvre. He was prosperous and known outside Tournai to such an extent that the Countess of Hainault intervened on his behalf. Campin’s and van der Weyden’s wives may have been related. The fragments of a mural Annunciation (Tournai, St Brice) are the only surviving paintings with a claim to being authenticated works by Campin. Despite differences in scale, the simplified mural technique and its linear emphasis make it possible to compare the surviving angel’s face, with the exaggerated semicircular hooding of the eyelid and lower eye socket, with the similar formulation of faces such as that of the thief in the Seilern Triptych. While the uncertain documentation and date of the Annunciation make it untenable as proof or disproof of Campin’s identity with the Master of Flémalle, it is at least compatible with the Flémalle oeuvre.

Little is known of Tournai painting outside the Daret–van der Weyden circle, but Tournai sculpture shows considerable stylistic affinities to the Flémalle works. Campin is documented as having undertaken the polychromy of statues; the Angel and Virgin of the Annunciation group by Jean Delemer, which he coloured in 1428, survive in a very damaged and restored form (dep. Tournai, Mus. B.-A.). Whether or not the Master of Flémalle was himself active in Tournai’s flourishing sculpture trade, his work—especially his grisailles and his painted architecture—shows considerable sensitivity to sculptural form. Moreover, the Flémalle paintings seem to have been particularly accessible to Tournai sculptors, who certainly repeated not only the Annunciation but also elements of the Marriage of the Virgin. Thus while inadequate survival and the movement of artists and designs make local style an inadequate criterion for assigning the Master to any one town, Tournai appears to provide a plausible setting for his work.

Given the problems of re-creating the career of Rogier van der Weyden, it is not surprising that an artist of equal genius, the Master of Flémalle, should have his identity recreated from suggestive but not totally conclusive evidence. Nevertheless, his anonymity has perhaps been over-scrupulously preserved, when there are so many points of contact with the career of Robert Campin. By the early 1990s there was an increasing tendency to identify the painter outright as Campin (e.g. a symposium held at London, N.G., 1993).

3. Working methods and technique.

The desire to clarify the attributional problem within the Flémalle group of paintings has motivated much of their technical investigation. Until more scientific analyses are available, only tentative observations can be made. Paintings attributable to the Master of Flémalle and Rogier van der Weyden, however, have been sufficiently investigated to disprove any belief in the Master of Flémalle as the young van der Weyden, a theory in any case untenable on grounds of chronology and individual stylistic development.

The Master of Flémalle could not have undertaken his major projects without the assistance of a competent and well-organized workshop, the existence of which can be deduced from the divergence in quality between the Prado Marriage of the Virgin and Annunciation panels. The precise role of assistants within pictures that seem overwhelmingly attributable to the Master is bound to remain controversial. The workshop was probably extensively employed in the preparation of panels for painting. Wherever the Master of Flémalle trained, he received a thorough grounding in the skills of his craft, which he passed on to, or expected from, his workshop. Not only was paint skilfully prepared and applied, but panels were prepared and gilded with great delicacy and technical mastery. The intricate gilded patternings of the Seilern Triptych and the damaged Thief testify to the Master’s knowledge of traditional techniques that went out of fashion during the 15th century, as gold was increasingly used as a pigment or burnished on the flat, if employed at all. Thus van der Weyden’s willingness to exploit the qualities of gold, despite its denial of spatial illusion, can presumably be linked to the Master of Flémalle.

The careful planning of the design of a panel would, by contrast, have been predominantly the work of the Master himself. Such detailed paintings would have required extensive preparatory drawing from life for individual figures and details. Yet the making and collecting of drawings as patterns for reuse make it hard to know whether surviving examples are carefully finished preparatory studies or records of a figure or composition to be preserved for future reworking. The beautiful drawing of the Flémalle St Veronica (Cambridge, Fitzwilliam) carefully repeats the painting, whereas other drawings, such as those from the lost Deposition triptych or the Jael and Sisera, seem to be less accomplished records by other artists either from drawn or painted originals or some intermediary source.

The underdrawing of the Flémalle Virgin and Child is bold: contours are defined with broad strokes, and modelling is indicated by closely placed hatching in areas of shadow. The Master tended to expand his underdrawn forms in the paint layer, consistently emphasizing volume and bulk. Significant changes do occur between underdrawing and painting. For example, in the Seilern Triptych the donor’s face was repositioned, as was the foot of the resurrected Christ to link him more clearly to the ground. The concern for clarity of spatial construction is shown in the completeness of the drawing of the receding tomb in the right wing, a detail largely obscured by figures in the finished painting. In the case of the Portrait of a Fat Man, a correction from more detailed observation probably underlies the change in the line of the ear between underdrawing and painting. This change suggests that this panel is the original and that another version (Madrid, Mus. Thyssen-Bornemisza), which follows the final painted composition, is a contemporary replica.

The Master of Flémalle appears to have painted in a refined oil medium. Paint samples from the pendant portraits in the National Gallery, London, show the use of egg as well as linseed oil, probably in separate layers. His brushwork is not as minute as van Eyck’s, but he too exploited the medium to establish tiny nuances of change in colour and tone. He took less advantage of its translucence: X-rays reveal that rather than leaving white ground to read through glazes in light areas, he employed white lead heavily. In this, his technique relates to that of the earlier work of van der Weyden.

4. Posthumous reputation.
  • Catherine Reynolds

The works of the Master of Flémalle were collected throughout Europe and imitated into the 17th century, his influence extending beyond Campin’s pupils and the Netherlands, to Germany, Spain, and in France to the monumental panel painters of the south as well as the miniaturists of the north. He provided a model fusion of the new illusionistic techniques with a more traditional awareness of surface pattern, but this aspect of his art tended to be neglected for the more easily imitated figures with their telling expressions and gestures. Because none of the major works survives intact, it takes an effort of imagination to recapture their grandeur of conception and dramatic impressiveness. Yet the breathtaking emotional and aesthetic appeal of his mature work establishes him as one of the greatest artists of the 15th century. The survival of his works in any form, unhelped by a personality cult, is proof of their enduring power, which, to the viewer, renders the identity of their creator an art-historical irrelevance.


  • J. D. Passavant: ‘Der Maler Roger van der Weyden’, Z. Christ. Archäol. Kst, vol. 2 (1858), pp. 1–20, 120–30, 178–80
  • H. von Tschudi: ‘Der Meister von Flémalle’, Jahrbuch der Königlich-preussischen Kunstsammlungen [cont. as Jb. Preuss. Kstsamml.], vol. 19 (1898), pp. 8–34, 89–116
  • E. Firmenich-Richartz: ‘Neues von “Meister von Flemalle”’, Monatshefte für Kunstwissenschaft [cont. as Jb. Kstwiss.], vol. 6 (1913), pp. 377–8
  • F. Winkler: Der Meister von Flémalle und Rogier van der Weyden (Strasbourg, 1913)
  • M. J. Friedländer: Die altniederländische Malerei (Berlin, 1924–37); Eng. trans. as Early Netherlandish Painting (Leiden, 1967–76), ii
  • S. Reinach: ‘Ni Flémalle ni Falin’, Revue archéologique, n. s. 2, vol. 32 (1930), pp. 223–4
  • C. de Tolnay: Le Maître de Flémalle et les frères van Eyck (Brussels, 1939)
  • E. Panofsky: Early Netherlandish Painting, 2 vols (Cambridge, MA, 1953)
  • J. Taubert: ‘La Trinité du Musée de Louvain: Une Nouvelle Méthode de critique des copies’, Bulletin de l’Institut royal du patrimoine artistique, vol. 2 (1959), pp. 20–33
  • M. J. Frinta: The Genius of Robert Campin (The Hague, 1966)
  • J. G. van Gelder: ‘An Early Work by Robert Campin’, Oud-Holland, vol. 82 (1967), pp. 1–17
  • M. Sonkes: Dessins du XVe siècle: Groupe van der Weyden (1969), vol. 5 of Les Primitifs flamands, III: Contributions à l’étude des primitifs flamands (Antwerp, 1952–)
  • M. Sonkes: ‘Le Dessin sous-jacent chez Roger van der Weyden et le problème de la personnalité du Maître de Flémalle’, Bulletin de l’Institut royal du patrimoine artistique, vol. 13 (1971–2), pp. 161–206
  • M. Davies: Rogier van der Weyden (London, 1972)
  • L. Campbell: ‘Robert Campin, the Master of Flémalle and the Master of Merode’, Burlington Magazine, vol. 216 (1974), pp. 634–46
  • Le Dessin sous-jacent dans la peinture, Colloque III: Septembre 1979: Le problème Maître de Flémalle–van der Weyden, Louvain, 1979
  • J. R. J. van Asperen de Boer and others: ‘A Progress Report on the Investigation of the Underdrawings in the Paintings of the Group van der Weyden–Flémalle’, Le Dessin sous-jacent dans la peinture, Colloque IV: Octobre 1981: Le Problème de l’auteur de l’oeuvre de peintre, Louvain, 1981
  • C. Périer-d’Ieterer: Colyn de Coter et la technique picturale des peintres flamands du XVe siècle (Brussels, 1985)
  • M. Comblen-Sonkes: Le Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon, vol. 14 of Les Primitifs flamands, I: Corpus de la peinture des anciens Pays-Bas méridionaux au XVe siècle (Brussels, 1986), pp. 159–208
  • J. O. Hand and M. Wolff: The Collection of the National Gallery of Art: Early Netherlandish Painting (Washington, DC, 1986)
  • J. Mills and R. White: ‘Analyses of Paint Media’, National Gallery Technical Bulletin, vol. 11 (1987), pp. 92–5
  • J. R. J. van Asperen de Boer and others: ‘Underdrawing in Paintings of the Rogier van der Weyden and Master of Flémalle Groups’, Nederlands(ch) kunsthistorisch jaarboek, vol. 41 (1990)
  • J. Dijkstra: Origineel en kopie: Een onderzoek naar de navolging de Meester van Flémalle en Rogier van der Weyden (diss., U. Amsterdam, 1990)
  • M.-L. Lievens-de Waegh: Le Musée National d’Art Ancien et le Musée National des carreaux de faïence, vol. 16 of Les Primitifs flamands, I: Corpus de la peinture des anciens Pays-Bas méridionaux au XVe siècle (Brussels, 1991), pp. 106–27
  • J. Sander: Niederländische Gemälde im Städel, 1400–1550 (Mainz, 1993), pp. 88–153 [with bibliog.]
  • D. Bomford and others: ‘“The Virgin and Child before the Firescreen”: History, Examination and Treatment’, National Gallery Technical Bulletin, vol. 15 (1994)
  • S. Kemperdinck: Der Meister von Flémalle: Die Werkstatt Robert Campins und Rogier von der Weyden (Turnhout, 1997)
  • C. Stroo and P. Syfer-D’Olne: The Flemish Primitives: I: The Master of Flémalle and Rogier van der Weyden Groups, Brussels, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts cat. (Turnhout, 1997)

Master of Flora [Maître de Flore]

  • Philippe Rouillard

(fl c. 1555–70).

Master of Flora: The Birth of Cupid, oil on wood, 42 1/2 x 51 3/8 in. (108 x 130.5 cm), including added strip of 3 1/2 in. (8.9 cm) at top, second half 16th century (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund, 1941, Accession ID: 41.48); photo © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Painter, active in France. Grouped under this name are a small number of paintings and drawings executed by an artist probably of Italian origin who is known to have worked in France between 1555 and 1570. A painting representing Flora (ex-d’Albenas priv. col., Montpellier; San Francisco, CA Pal. Legion of Honor) has given its name to this remarkable heir to the first Fontainebleau school. Together with this painting, three other works permit a firm appreciation of the personality and style of the Master: the Triumph of Flora (Vicenza, Canera de Salasco priv. col.; see exh. cat., no. 130), which is considered to be a workshop production; the Birth of Cupid (New York, Met.; see fig.); and the Allegory of Abundance (Ravenna, Accad. B.A.). All these works show strong affinities with the style of Rosso Fiorentino and Francesco Primaticcio and also with that of Nicolò dell’Abate, who arrived in Fontainebleau in 1552. In these paintings the principal figure, passive and occupying a large part of the picture space, is contrasted with other more dynamic figures: putti in the Triumph, servants in the Birth and children in the Abundance. As in the work of Nicolò dell’Abate, but in a more anecdotal way, nature is very much present, particularly in the flowers strewn around in such profusion that they could almost be seen as the signature of the artist.

The extreme elegance of the figures, whose feet and hands are treated in a distinctive fashion, and the sensuality and voluptuousness that emanate, demonstrate the precious and refined Mannerist style practised in the court painting of the period. This style is executed with a broad, lush touch. Certain parallels have been drawn in the compositions with the work of Bronzino or with the motifs that were created by Giulio Romano and adapted at the château of Fontainebleau by Primaticcio in the Galerie d’Ulysse. A further work attributed to the Master of Flora is The Concert (Paris, Louvre), a copy of part of a fresco painted by Nicolò dell’Abate after Primaticcio in the Salle de Bal at Fontainebleau.

The same emphasis on linear rhythm in composition, the same graphic elegance, elongation, and grace in the nude figures, the characteristic profile in the faces—all signs that this artist was a very close follower of Primaticcio—are to be found among his drawings given to the Master of Flora. These include Procris and Cephalus (New York, Morgan Lib. & Mus.) and Apollo and the Muses (Paris, Louvre), which is a project for one of the medallions in the Chambre des Arts at the château of Ancy-Le-Franc (Yonne).

Two names have been proposed to identify the artist: Ruggiero de Ruggieri, from Bologna, the most prominent artist at Fontainebleau after the death of Nicolò dell’Abate (he is documented there from 1557 to 1597), or Giulio Camillo dell’Abate (1552–82), the son and partner of Nicolò. It has also been proposed that these works may be by one of the Cousin family.


  • S. Béguin: L’Ecole de Fontainebleau: Le Manièrisme à la cour de France (Paris, 1960)
  • L’Ecole de Fontainebleau (exh. cat. by S. Béguin and others, Paris, Grand Pal., 1972); rev. as Fontainebleau: Art in France, 1528–1610, 2 vols (exh. cat. by S. Béguin and others, Ottawa, N.G. 1973)

Master of Fogdö [Union Master]

  • Anna Nilsén

(fl first quarter of the 15th century).

Scandinavian painter. He executed wall paintings in Fogdö Church and in the Lady chapel in Strängnäs Cathedral, both in Södermanland, Sweden. He has sometimes been thought to be the master responsible for paintings in the church at Undløse in Sjaelland, Denmark, and the name Union Master derives from the supposition that he worked in both Sweden and Denmark, which were then politically united. Although there are some similarities in the figure style and ornamentation between these works, there are also differences, and the identification cannot be proved.

The Master of Fogdö’s style is closely related to the Schöne Stil and is of pronounced elegance, seen especially in the Apostles at Fogdö. Their elongated bodies, enveloped in softly draped mantles, form graceful S-curves, and their faces sometimes have slightly superior expressions. The figures are surrounded by vines, and their costumes are often patterned to simulate precious fabrics. The impression of sophistication is enhanced by the subtle colouring. The Fogdö Master probably worked only occasionally in Sweden and may have been summoned from abroad.


  • B. G. Söderberg: De gotländska passionsmålningarna och deras stilfränder [The Gotland Passion paintings and their stylistic family] (Lund, 1942), pp. 244–68
  • B. G. Söderberg: Svenska kyrkomålningar från medeltiden [Swedish church paintings from the Middle Ages] (Stockholm, 1951), pp. 146–54
  • Å. Nisbeth: ‘Strängnäs domkyrka’ [Strängnäs Cathedral], Sveriges Kyrkor, vol. 189 (Stockholm, 1982), pp. 63–89
  • A. Nilsén: Program och funktion i senmedeltider kalkmåleri: Kyrkmålningar i Mälarlandskapen och Finland, 1400–1534 [Programme and function in late medieval wall painting: paintings in churches in the Mälar provinces and Finland, 1400–1534] (Stockholm, 1986), pp. 14, 77–8, 263

Master of the Fogg Pietà [Master of Figline]

  • Brendan Cassidy

(fl first half of the 14th century).

Italian painter. He derives his name from a predella panel of the Lamentation (Cambridge, MA, Fogg), around which Offner grouped a series of works. He is also known as the Master of Figline after the large-scale Virgin and Child with Saints and Angels in the Collegiata at Figline Valdarno, just south of Florence. Opinion regarding his origins has ranged widely. He has been considered Roman, Emilian, or Umbrian, or even Lombard, Burgundian, or from Avignon. More specifically he has been identified with Giovanni di Bonino, a glass painter who worked at Assisi and Orvieto in the first half of the 14th century. There is a similar lack of agreement on the dates of his activity. Offner suggested that he was Florentine and active from c. 1320 onwards. Others saw 15th-century elements in his work and drew comparisons with Andrea del Castagno and Piero della Francesca.

Recent scholars, however, charted a career for the painter from the late years of the 13th century through the first half of the 14th. Although influenced by Giotto’s formal innovations he evolved a strongly individual style. The existence of Sienese elements in his work has been corroborated by Muller’s technical examination of two panels with SS Francis and Philip (Worcester, MA, A. Mus.), which concluded that the carpentry, tooling, and painting techniques were more Sienese than Florentine and could be closely associated with the work of Pietro Lorenzetti and his associates c. 1340. Works generally attributed to the Master include fourteen panels and frescoes, with another ten or so less firmly accepted paintings, and designs for stained-glass windows in the lower church of S Francesco, Assisi, and in Santa Croce, Florence.

The Master’s earliest surviving work is probably a fresco, dated to the first decade of the 14th century, in the sacristy of the lower church at Assisi. This Virgin and Child with SS Francis and Clare and Two Angels clearly records his debt to Giotto in the substantial bulk of the figures and their simple and compact forms. The composition and the eccentric scale of the angels, however, indicate that the Master at this stage had yet to assimilate or was uninterested in the sophisticated spatial realism of Giotto and the painters of the upper church. The Master’s style is already marked by certain distinctive features: he tends to favour pastel shades of pink and green, surface pattern, and a calligraphic treatment of hair, emphatic gestures, and characteristic facial features, with large, prominent eyes in the troubled, often wistful, faces. The result is solemn and expressive in a way that recalls Florentine painting before Giotto.

The altarpiece in Figline Valdarno marks a development of this combination of the decorative and expressive while showing more confidence in the handling of scale and space, especially in the ambitious design of the throne. The emphatic contours that define individual forms open the way for the more linear late style of the Master as represented in the painted Crucifix in Santa Croce, Florence, the St John the Baptist (Ferrara, Pin. N.) and the saints, including SS Philip and Francis (Worcester, MA, A. Mus.), from a dismembered polyptych reconstructed by Volpe. Accompanying this more graphic treatment, most effectively employed to silhouette the large and expressive hands and feet, is a coarsening of facial features and the representation of the body in a more monumental form. The dramatic intensity and the consummate technical skill justify the assessment of the Master as ‘the most authoritative alternative to Giotto in Florence in the early decades of the Trecento’ (Bellosi, 1980–81 exh. cat.).


  • R. Offner: ‘The Master of the Fogg Pietà’, Art in America, vol. 14 (1926), pp. 160–76
  • R. Offner and K. Steinweg: Corpus (1930–), 3/vi, pp. 65–100
  • C. Volpe: ‘Ristudiando il Maestro di Figline’, Paragone, vol. 24(277) (1973), pp. 3–23
  • N. E. Muller: ‘Lorenzettian Technical Influences in a Painting of St Philip by the Master of Figline’, Atti del XXIV congresso internazionale di storia dell’arte, Bologna: 1979, vol. 3, pp. 283–95
  • Il Maestro di Figline (exh. cat., ed. L. Bellosi and others; Figline Valdarno, Vecchio Pal. Com., 1980–81) [with bibliog.]
  • M. Boskovits: Corpus (1984), pp. 60–66, 317–34, pls cxliii–clx
  • Capolavori a Figline: Cinque anni di restauri (exh. cat., ed. C. Caneva and others; Figline Valdarno, Vecchio Pal. Com., 1985–6), pp. 45–63

Master of the Franciscan Breviary

  • Robert G. Calkins

(fl c. 1440–60).

Italian illuminator. He is named after a two-volume Breviary of Franciscan Use (Bologna, Bib. U., MS. 337), which was probably written c. 1446. His work is also found in several other manuscripts, including a splendid Gradual entirely illuminated in his style (Ithaca, NY, Cornell U., Lib., MS. B 50++), a Breviary (Parma, Bib. Palatina, MS. 6) and a Psalter (Rome, Vatican, Bib. Apostolica, MS. Barb. lat. 585), and in many cuttings from choir-books (e.g. Berlin, Kupferstichkab., nos 1234 and 6694; Venice, Fond. Cini, nos 2172 and 2207; Paris, Mus. Marmottan, no. 27). The Vatican Psalter was commissioned by Cardinal Ioannes Bessarion, papal legate for Bologna 1450–55, and is probably part of the great series of choir-books that he commissioned during his residence in Emilia. This series of at least 20 large-format volumes was the work of several artists and was presented to the convent of S Maria Annunziata in Cesena after its foundation in 1458. The Master of the Franciscan Breviary’s contribution to this series has been identified in two surviving Antiphonals (Cesena, Bib. Malatestiana, Corale 3; and sold Amsterdam, Mensing–Muller, 5 April 1935, lot 19) and in folios cut from dismembered books (Venice, Fond. Cini, nos 2096–7).

Features of the Master’s highly decorative style, such as the smoothly modelled round faces and the flowing contours of figures and drapery, place him among the followers of the Lombard painter Michelino da Besozzo. His identification as Ambrogio da Cermenate or as Jacopino Cietario cannot be sustained. He apparently had access to the designs of Giovannino de Grassi and Belbello da Pavia as he repeated many of their motifs, especially extravagantly structured architectural initials. Notable is his unusual and subtle manipulation of monochrome: black with gold, light brown with white or light blue, pinks, and greens. When he used a full palette the results were spectacular, particularly the brilliant, glowing colours of his fluid draperies highlighted with touches of gold. His style is characteristic of the colourful and charming illumination produced in and around Milan throughout the first 60 years of the 15th century.


  • Arte lombarda dai Visconti agli Sforza (exh. cat., Milan, Pal. Reale, 1958), pp. 79–80
  • R. Calkins: ‘The Master of the Franciscan Breviary’, Arte lombarda, vol. 16 (1971), pp. 17–36
  • G. Mariani Canova: Miniature dell’Italia settentrionale nella Fondazione Giorgio Cini (Venice, 1978), pp. 39–44
  • A. De Floriani: ‘Due miniature di Palazzo Bianco’, Bollettino dei Musei Civici Genovesi, vol. 3(7–9) (1981), pp. 128–39
  • L. Stefani: ‘Per una storia della miniatura lombarda da Giovannino de’ Grassi alla scuola cremonese della seconda metà del Quattrocento’, La miniatura italiana tra gotico e Rinascimento. Atti del II Congresso di storia della miniatura italiana: Cortona, 1982 (Florence, 1985), pp. 823–81
  • M. Medica: ‘Alcune considerazioni per una presenza bolognese del Maestro del Breviario Francescano’, Quaderno di studi sull’arte lombarda dai Visconti agli Sforza per gli 80 anni di Gian Alberto dell’Acqua, ed. M. T. Balboni Brizza (Milan, 1990), pp. 72–6
  • F. Lollini: ‘Esempi inediti o poco noti di miniatura lombarda tardogotica’, Fare storia dell’arte: Studi offerti a Liana Castelfranchi, ed. M. G. Balzarini (Milan, 2000), pp. 61–5
  • F. Lollini: ‘Bessarione e Pio II: Qualche appunto da una biografia del XVIII secolo, con una nota sul ‘Maestro del Breviario Francescano’, Enea Silvio Piccolomini: Arte, storia e cultura nell’Europa di Pio II. Atti del convegni internazionali di studi: Rimini, Viterbo, Ancona, Allumiere, Rome, 2003–4, pp. 19–30

Master of Frankfurt

  • Stephen H. Goddard

(b 1460; d 1533).

South Netherlandish painter. He takes his name from two paintings commissioned by patrons from Frankfurt am Main. His chief importance lies in his continuing the great tradition of 15th-century Netherlandish painting (particularly the compositions of Rogier van der Weyden and Hugo van der Goes) well into the 16th century, his development of a markedly earthy figure type, his apparently innovative management of a large workshop that ‘mass-produced’ paintings for the open market and his status (with his greater contemporary, Quentin Metsys) as a founder of the distinguished tradition of painting in Antwerp.

The Master of Frankfurt has been tentatively identified with Hendrik van Wueluwe, active in Antwerp from 1483 until his death there in 1533. Van Wueluwe may have come from Woluwe, near the region outside Brussels where van der Goes spent his last days. The Master’s style suggests close contact with the art of van der Goes and, to a lesser extent, the Lower Rhine. Van Wueluwe emerges from the documents as a prominent Antwerp artist. He was Dean of the artists’ guild six times and had seven apprentices. Earlier identifications of the artist with Conrad Fyol (d 1499–1500) and Jan de Vos (fl 1489–1521) are no longer tenable.

Two of the Master’s paintings are among the earliest that can be documented in Antwerp. The Festival of the Archers (Antwerp, Kon. Mus. S. Kst.) carried an inscription on its original frame (destr.) indicating that the painting was given to the city in 1493. The panel, rich in the folklore of the military guilds, was long housed in the guildhall of the Antwerp crossbowmen. The Portrait of the Artist and his Wife (Antwerp, Kon. Mus. S. Kst.) is in its original frame, which carries the date 1496 and both their ages; it follows from this that he was born in 1460, she in 1469. This painting also bears the arms of the Antwerp Guild of St Luke.

Around 1503 the Master painted his great altarpiece of the Holy Kinship for the Dominican church in Frankfurt (Frankfurt am Main, Hist. Mus.). Here the artist’s gruff, down-to-earth figures found full expression. Other important commissions followed, such as the Crucifixion triptych (Frankfurt am Main, Städel. Kstinst. & Städt. Gal.) for the Frankfurt patrician family of Claus Humbracht (1440–1504), whose son was resident in Antwerp by 1503. There is some evidence that the artist visited Frankfurt, but the fact that he painted on oak panels virtually rules out his working in the Frankfurt area. These successful commissions early in the century coincided with Antwerp’s own remarkable rise in economic power.

Workshop of the Master of Frankfurt, Netherlandish, born about 1460, died about 1515: The Adoration of the Christ Child, oil on oak panel, overall: 23 1/8 x 16 1/4 in. (58.7 x 41.3 cm); painted surface 22 7/8 x 16 in. (58.1 x 40.1 cm) (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Robert Lehman Collection, 1975, Accession ID: 1975.1.116); photo © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Many of the paintings from the Master’s workshop after this ‘Frankfurt period’ were multiples of time-honoured compositions produced for the open market, in which the Master’s own hand becomes increasingly difficult to identify among those of his assistants (see fig.). Certain motifs, such as standardized brocade patterns, have helped identify works made in this large workshop. The works of the highest quality c. 1510–20 are the small panels entirely from the Master’s own hand, primarily portraits (the latest dated 1518) and panels showing the Virgin and Child. Late altarpieces, such as the Lamentation triptych (Munich, Alte Pin.) and Holy Family triptych (Liverpool, Walker A.G.; The Hague, Mauritshuis), sometimes betray a knowledge of the new taste in landscape (influenced by Joachim Patinir) and of the fanciful costumes of the Antwerp Mannerists. The Master’s figures, however, remain the same rough-hewn types. There is little evidence of the Master of Frankfurt after c. 1520, and he had no significant following.


  • H. Weizsäcker: Die Kunstschätze des ehemaligen Dominikaner-Klosters in Frankfurt a. M. (Munich, 1923), pp. 126–40
  • M. J. Friedländer: Die altniederländische Malerei (Berlin, 1924–37); Eng. trans. as Early Netherlandish Painting (Leiden, 1967–76), vol. 7, pp. 54–7
  • A. J. J. Delen: ‘Wie was de Meester van Frankfurt?’, Miscellanea Leo van Puyvelde (Brussels, 1949), pp. 74–83
  • S. Goddard: ‘The Master of Frankfurt and his Shop’, Academiae analecta: Klasse der schone kunsten [Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie voor wetenschappen, letteren en schone kunsten van België], vol. 46(38) (Brussels, 1984)
  • S. Goddard: ‘Brocade Patterns in the Shop of the Master of Frankfurt: An Accessory to Stylistic Analysis’, Art Bulletin, vol. 67 (1985), pp. 401–17
  • D. Ewing: ‘Archival Notes: Jan de Beer and Hendric van Wueluwe (The Master of Frankfurt)’, Jaarboek: Koninklijk museum voor schone kunsten [Yearbook: Royal Museum for Fine Arts] (1994), pp. 32, 34 [work done for the Antwerp church of St James]

Master of the Frankfurt Crucifixion.

See §I, .

Master of the Frankfurt Garden of Paradise

  • Hans Georg Gmelin

(fl c. 1410–30).

German painter. He is named after a small panel painting of the Garden of Paradise (c. 1410; Frankfurt am Main, Städel. Kstinst. & Städt. Gal.), barely as big as two hands, which captivated people in the Romantic period through its tender, intimate lyricism. It has been linked with a small Annunciation (Winterthur, Samml. Oskar Reinhart), the larger Virgin among the Strawberries (Solothurn, Kstmus.) and several woodcuts. This group of works is also connected to the fragment of a Head of the Virgin (ex-Adelhausen, Dominican convent) and to panels of the Virgin (c. 1430; ex-Tennenbach, monastery; Freiburg im Breisgau, Augustinmus.) and their original reverses of Passion scenes (Karlsruhe, Kunsthalle). It can be inferred that the Master and his workshop worked in Colmar or—more probably—Basle.

The small Garden of Paradise is like a large miniature, with deep, bright blues in the sky and the cloaks of the Virgin and St Barbara, who fetches water, a light, gentle red in those of St Dorothy, picking apples, and St Catherine, teaching the infant Jesus to play the zither, and a lush, fresh green in the grassy bank with its wealth of spring plants—snowbells, daisies, strawberries. The garden is bounded by a crenellated wall along which grow summer plants—irises, pinks, and roses. The women and the group of SS Michael, George, and Oswald look less like saints, more like courtiers from a contemporaneous garden of love. The arcadian mood is reminiscent of the miniatures in a 15th-century French Boccaccio (Paris, Bib. Arsenal), which have the same deep blue, while the figure of the Virgin relates to a single woodcut print in Colmar (Bib.). In the Winterthur Annunciation, the angel and the Virgin are portrayed equally tenderly, as large figures within the more energetically containing framework of an interior with receding ceiling beams. Caskets, small maiolica jugs and a pot plant enliven the barren floor in front of a bench covered with a green blanket. The sense of confinement is further emphasized in the Virgin among the Strawberries, with a small donor in the foreground, while in the later scenes from the Tennenbach altar the plumper, less youthful figures completely dominate their surroundings.


  • G. F. Hartlaub: Das Paradiesgärtlein von einem oberrheinischen Meister um 1410 (Berlin, 1944)
  • A. Stange: Deutsche Malerei der Gotik, vol. 4 (Munich, 1951), pp. 61–8
  • E. M. Vetter: ‘Das Frankfurter Paradiesgärtlein’, Heidelberg Jb., vol. 9 (1965), pp. 102–46
  • R. Suckale: ‘Les peintres Hans Stocker et Hans Tiefental: L’ars nova en Haute-Rhénanie au XVe siècle’, Revue de l’art, vol. 120 (1998), pp. 58–67

Freake Painter

  • Jonathan L. Fairbanks

(fl Boston, 1670–c. 1680).

American painter. During the early British settlement of North America, immigrants brought portraits from abroad and had images of their leaders and kin painted abroad and shipped into the colonies. Yet a surprising number of life-size portraits in oil on canvas can be identified as having been made in Boston by immigrant and native-born painters of training and talent. Paintings made in Boston and dated 1670–74 seem to be by the same artist or perhaps two Boston artists working in a similar manner. This is the largest group of closely related paintings known from 17th-century New England. The key portraits in this group represent Boston merchant John Freake and his wife Mrs John (Elizabeth) [Clarke] Freake and her Baby (both Worcester, MA, A. Mus.); Henry Gibbs (Charleston, WV, Clay Center, Avampato Discovery Museum), Margaret Gibbs (priv. col., see 1982 exh. cat., pl. xxii), and Robert Gibbs (Boston, MA, Mus. F. A.); the Mason Children (San Francisco, CA, de Young Mem. Mus.); and Edward Rawson (Boston, MA, New England Hist. Geneal. Soc.). A related portrait, dated 1670 but probably by a different hand, depicts the Rev. John Davenport (New Haven, CT, Yale U. A. G.). These portraits share characteristics that separate them from two of the earliest Boston paintings made and dated 1664 and from other portraits painted in Boston just a decade later and beyond.

Close study of the portraits of Mr and Mrs Freake reveals clues to the unidentified artist whose handling of pigments helps link them with the other 1670s paintings. These portraits are not the work of a limner, a period term used to describe the profession of a miniaturist, rather, the artist who produced the life-size Boston portraits of the 1670s was called a painter–stainer. One immigrant with such training was Augustine Clement (?fl c. 1600–74), who arrived in New England in 1635 and settled in Dorchester near the residence of a surgeon named Dr John Clark. Clement may have made a portrait of Clark dated 1664 (Boston, MA, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Boston Medical Library). If he did so, then the paintings of the 1670s could not have been by his hand because they are all strikingly different. But Augustine had a son named Samuel Clement (1635–78) who was also a painter–stainer. Whether Samuel produced the 1670s portraits remains an intriguing possibility. These portraits exhibit a coherent handling of pigment and a rendering of textures, clothing, lighting, and perspective that displays a lighter touch than the Clark portrait.

Notably, the artist or artists who produced the Boston portraits of the 1670s rendered the flesh tones of all sitters with flat light and introduced little shadowing to model the figures’ forms. This lighting technique harkens back to Elizabethan painting traditions and permits the painter to concentrate attention on details of ornament, dress, and facial features. For example, the literal depiction of John Freake’s face and the elaborate pattern of his costume were rendered in detail with only the slightest use of shading or shadow in the face. The Boston painter (or painters) of the 1670s did not practice convergent linear perspective to render the portraits. Isometric projection was the method of this painter or school that kept all parts of the figure and costume constructed with parallel linear perspective, only allowing convergence to a single point of sight in the centre of the paintings drawn from the chequerboard floors on which the Gibbs and Mason children were depicted as standing. In other words, although sitters were posed in slightly turned three-quarter views, the collars, mouthparts, eyes, and brows were consistently parallel and usually pitched upwards. This made it easy for the artist who first painted the image of Elizabeth Freake in about 1671 to return and add the image of her baby Mary, who came later and was painted at age six months in 1674. This necessitated an updating of the collar and position of the hands and some ribbons of Mrs Freake, but no alterations to her face. The addition took place in paint, almost like a cutout or collage superimposed on the earlier portrait with finely crafted details of costume and facial features scaled to suit those of Mary's mother. The artist did not need to deal with bothersome shadows cast from either figure.

In the three portraits of the Gibbs children—Henry (age 1 1/2), Robert (age 4 1/2), and Margaret (age 7)—the date (1670) and the children’s ages were inscribed on the canvases. Each figure is life size, as if standing on a chequerboard floor of black-and-white tiles. Close study of these paintings suggests that the same artist who painted the Freake portraits also made those of the Gibbs children. It also seems probable that the same artist painted the portrait of Edward Rawson, Secretary of the Massachusetts Bay colony. Further study is required to determine whether the Freake/Gibbs portraitist also painted portraits of the Rev. John Davenport, the Mason children, and other Boston oil paintings of the 1670s. Stylistic similarities suggest that Rev. Davenport’s portrait was painted by the artist who painted Richard Mather (Worcester, MA, Amer. Antiqua. Soc.), another minister identified as John Cotton (Hartford, CT Hist. Soc. Mus.), and John Wheelwright (Boston, MA, State House).


  • XVIIth Century Painting in New England (exh. cat. by L. Dresser, Worcester, MA, A. Mus., 1935), pp. 81–3
  • L. Dresser: ‘The Freake Portraits’, Worcester Art Museum Bulletin, vol. 29(5) (1964)
  • L. Dresser: ‘Portraits in Boston, 1630–1720’, Archives of American Art Journal, vol. 6 (1966), pp. 1–34
  • S. Gold: ‘A Study in Early Boston Portrait Attributions: Augustine Clement, Painter-stainer of Reading, Berkshire, and Massachusetts Bay’, Old-Time New England, vol. 58(3) (1968), pp. 61–78
  • A. L. Cummings: ‘Decorative Painting in Early New England’, American Painting to 1776: A Re-appraisal, ed. I. M. G. Quimby (Charlottesville, 1971), pp. 91–101
  • S. E. Strickler: ‘Recent Findings on the Freake Portraits’, Worcester Art Museum Journal, vol. 5 (1981–2), pp. 48–55
  • J. L. Fairbanks: ‘Portrait Painting in Seventeenth Century Boston’, New England Begins: The Seventeenth Century, vol. 3 (exh. cat. by J. L. Fairbanks and R. F. Trent, Boston, MA, Mus. F.A., 1982), pp. 413–53
  • W. Craven: Colonial American Portraiture (Cambridge, 1986), pp. 38–48, 85–8

Master of the Freising Visitation [Master of the Augsburg Visitation]

  • Gisela Goldberg

(fl second half of the 15th century).

German painter. He is named after the painting of the Visitation from the abbey church of St Johann (Domberg), Freising, and now in Augsburg Cathedral. Two other paintings from the church, depicting the Massacre of the Innocents (Nuremberg, Ger. Nmus.) and the Death of the Virgin (priv. col.), belonged to the same altarpiece. In 1461 a Master Sigismund (from Freising) received payments for the side wings of the high altar of St Johann, and Ramisch considered that the three fragments belonged to this work. Stylistically, however, they seem to date from the 1480s. Perhaps Master Sigismund can be presumed to be identical with the Sigmund Huetter from Freising who is documented as having executed many works for the cathedral and monastic churches in Freising between 1451 and 1490; it cannot therefore be ruled out that this master was responsible for the paintings. The Master’s work appears to be closer to the painting of Salzburg and Munich than to Swabia, and Stange included him among the painters of Lower Bavaria. A more thorough investigation of his origins is, however, needed. Two depictions of the Crucifixion (Detroit, MI, Inst. A., and Freising, Diözmus.), probably dating from the 1470s, are also attributed to the Master.


  • E. Buchner: ‘Der Augsburger Tafelmalerei der Spätgotik: Der Meister der Augsburger Heimsuchung’, Beiträge zur Geschichte deutscher Kunst, vol. 2 (1928), pp. 56ff
  • A. Stange: Salzburg, Bayern und Tirol in der Zeit vom 1400 bis 1500 (1960), vol. 10 of Deutsche Malerei der Gotik (Munich and Berlin, 1933–61), pp. 122ff
  • Hans Holbein der Ältere und die Kunst der Spätgotik (exh. cat., Augsburg, Rathaus, 1965), pp. 131–2
  • H. Ramisch: Meister der Freisinger Heimsuchung (Sigmund Huetter) (exh. cat., Freising, Diözmus., 1984), pp. 72–3

Master of the Games [Maître des Jeux]

  • Thierry Bajou

(fl c. 1645–55).

Painter, active in Paris. In 1978 Cuzin grouped together under this name 13 paintings previously attributed to the Le Nain brothers. With the exception of a Portrait of a Man (Le Puy, Mus. Crozatier), the pictures are genre scenes, some of them representing games of chance (hence the Master’s appellation). The stylistic traits shared by these paintings include a reduction of space to simple geometric volumes in which forms are delineated in bright light and shadows that are heavily accentuated, though not always corresponding very closely to the forms that cast them. The emphasis on scrupulously observed reality in the depiction of faces and draperies led Cuzin to propose that the artist responsible for these pictures was a northern, most likely Flemish, follower of the Le Nain working in Paris. The dating proposed was based on affinities with works by the latter and on the costumes represented. Among the pictures attributed to the Master of the Games are Soldiers Playing Cards (U. Birmingham, Barber Inst.), Dice Players (Amsterdam, Rijksmus.), Backgammon Players (Paris, Louvre), and The Cheats (Reims, Mus. St Denis). Further works are The Gardener (Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Mus.), the Family Meal (Toledo, OH, Mus. A.), the Rustic Meal (Detroit, MI, Inst. A.), and three outdoor scenes of Children’s Dances (e.g. Cleveland, OH, Mus. A.). Some of these scenes may be actual portraits.


  • J.-P. Cuzin: ‘A Hypothesis Concerning the Le Nain Brothers’, Burlington Magazine, vol. 120 (1978), pp. 875–6
  • Les Frères Le Nain (exh. cat. by J. Thuillier, Paris, Grand Pal., 1978)
  • La Peinture française du XVIIe siècle dans les collections américaines (exh. cat. by P. Rosenberg, Paris, Grand Pal.; New York, Met.; Chicago, IL, A. Inst.; 1982), pp. 363–41

Gansevoort Limner

  • David Tatham

(fl c. 1730–45).

American painter. He was one of several portrait painters, known as the Patroon Painters, active during the first half of the 18th century in the Dutch-settled lands along the Hudson River from New York to Troy. He may have derived his compositions freely from British and Dutch mezzotints, but his style is strongly individualistic. The faces of his sitters are simplified and delicately rendered, while their figures are flat and geometrical, thinly painted in warm colours. His best-known portraits are Pau de Wandelaer (c. 1730; Albany, NY, Inst. Hist. & A.) and Deborah Glen (c. 1737; Williamsburg, VA, Rockefeller Flk A. Col.).

Black proposed that the Gansevoort Limner was Pieter Vanderlyn, grandfather of the American painter John Vanderlyn, and has since attributed to him around 20 portraits painted between c. 1730 and c. 1745 in or near Albany and Kingston, NY (see fig.). Pieter Vanderlyn, born in the Netherlands c. 1687, arrived in New York in 1718, probably by way of Curaçao. He resided in or near Albany and Kingston in the years of the Gansevoort Limner’s work in those places and died in Shawangunk, NY, in 1778. Black’s identification of Vanderlyn as the Gansevoort Limner contradicts Flexner’s earlier proposal that Vanderlyn was the De Peyster Limner; Black suggests that the De Peyster Limner was Gerardus Duyckinck (1695–1746).


  • J. T. Flexner: ‘Pieter Vanderlyn, Come Home’, Antiques, vol. 75 (1959), pp. 546–9, 580
  • M. Black: ‘Pieter Vanderlyn and Other Limners of the Upper Hudson’, American Painting to 1776, ed. I. Quimby (Charlottesville, VA, 1971), pp. 217–49
  • R. H. Saunders and E. Miles: American Colonial Portraits (Washington, DC, 1987), pp. 144–5, 161–2

Master of the Gardens of Love

  • Holm Bevers

(fl Netherlands, c. 1430–40/45).

Netherlandish engraver. One of the very earliest copper-engravers, he is named after two engravings of Gardens of Love (Lehrs, 1908, nos 20 and 21). He may have worked in the northern Netherlands, perhaps The Hague. His surviving oeuvre is extremely small, some of his c. 26 attributed engravings remaining unauthenticated. With one exception, the engravings are all unique. Their small format may suggest that they were used as illustrations for manuscripts or as models for miniatures. The Master’s engraving technique is very crude: heavy outlines and strong hatching (often schematic cross hatching) predominate. The figures are characterized by angular, stiff movements.

The Master covered both religious and secular subjects. The Passion series (l 6–13) is very close in style and composition to a group of Dutch illuminations of c. 1440, which suggests a common Netherlandish source. The Master’s most famous work, the Large Garden of Love (Berlin, Kupferstichkab.; l 21), also provides an indication as to his origins, as its theme and style show the influence of Burgundian-Netherlandish courtly art. The composition possibly derives from a wall hanging in the style of the Bardac Tapestries (c. 1420; New York, Met.) or from a fresco of courtly society. It has been maintained that the composition reflects some documented but untraced works by Jan van Eyck in the palace at The Hague (c. 1422–4); this remains unproven, however. The Small Garden of Love (l 20; Boston, MA, Mus. F.A.) depicts an allegory of courtly love.


  • Hollstein: Dut. & Flem.
  • M. Lehrs: Der Meister der Liebesgärten. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des ältesten Kupferstichs in den Niederlanden (Leipzig, 1893)
  • M. Lehrs: Geschichte und kritischer Katalog des deutschen, niederländischen und französischen Kupferstichs im XV. Jahrhundert, vol. 1 (Vienna, 1908), pp. 304–26 [l]
  • D. P. Bliss: ‘Love-gardens in the Early German Engravings and Woodcuts’, Print Collector’s Quarterly, vol. 15 (1928), pp. 91–109
  • I. Schüler: Der Meister der Liebesgärten. Ein Beitrag zur frühholländischen Malerei (Amsterdam, 1933)
  • I. Schüler: ‘Ein unbekannter Stich des Meisters der Liebesgärten’, Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch, vol. 30 (1968), pp. 345–8
  • R. S. Favis: The Garden of Love in Fifteenth-century Netherlandish and German Engraving: Some Studies in Secular Iconography in the Late Middle Ages and Early Renaissance (diss., Philadelphia, U. PA, 1974)
  • M. Hébert: Bibliothèque nationale, Département des gravures: Inventaire des gravures des écoles du Nord, 1440–1550, vol. 1 (Paris, 1982), p. 159

Master of the Gardner Annunciation

  • Genetta Gardner

(fl c. 1450–1500).

Italian painter. In 1927 Longhi assigned this name to an unknown 15th-century Central Italian artist who executed a small group of panel paintings and frescoes, Umbrian in character. The most noteworthy among the group is the Annunciation (Boston, MA, Isabella Stewart Gardner Mus.), from which the artist’s provisional name is derived. Early paintings attributed to the Master, which include the Virgin and Child with Two Seraphim (Baltimore, MD, Walters A. Mus) and the Virgin and Child with a Pomegranate (1481; Berlin, Gemäldegal), show the influence of Pietro Perugino and Fiorenzo di Lorenzo, while the later works are infused with Roman influences.

Although scholars agree on the oeuvre proposed by Longhi, the identity of the artist has remained controversial. The Boston Annunciation, for example, bought by Isabella Stewart Gardner in 1900 through Bernard Berenson as a work by Fiorenzo di Lorenzo, was later catalogued at the Gardner Museum as a work by Antoniazzo Romano. In 1953 Zeri rejected this attribution and instead proposed Piermatteo (Lauro de’ Manfredi) d’ Amelia (c. 1450–1503/8). Subsequent documentary and circumstantial evidence supports Zeri’s argument. Archival records found in 1978 show that the Gardner Annunciation was originally made for the main altar of the Franciscan church in Amelia, Piermatteo’s native city, not for S Maria degli Angeli in the Porziuncola, a district near Assisi, where Berenson acquired it in the late 19th century. Another document, discovered in 1986, identifies the Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints (1485; Terni, Mus. & Pin. Civ.), a major altarpiece traditionally attributed to the Master of the Gardner Annunciation, as a work by Piermatteo d’Amelia.

Piermatteo d’Amelia was a pupil and collaborator of Filippo Lippi at Spoleto between 1467 and 1469. Other influences on his style are reflected by the attributions of the Gardner Annunciation: Fiorenzo di Lorenzo during Piermatteo’s early period and Antoniazzo Romano during the mid-1480s. He is documented in Rome in 1480, working on the decoration of the Sistine Chapel, and in Civita Castellana in 1502–3. Zeri also observed his style in the fresco depicting the Mass of St Gregory at Orvieto Cathedral, where Piermatteo is recorded working in 1480–81. Although Piermatteo’s activities are well documented, it was not until the last decades of the 20th century that any of his paintings were successfully identified.


  • R. Longhi: ‘In favore di Antoniazzo Romano’, Vita artistica, vol. 2 (1927), pp. 226–33 (228)
  • F. Zeri: ‘Il Maestro dell’Annunciazione Gardner’, Bollettino d’arte, 2nd ser., vol. 38 (1953), pp. 125–39, 233–49
  • B. Berenson: Central and North Italian Schools (1968), vol. 1, pp. 251–2; vol. 3, pls 1070–72
  • L. Canonici: ‘L’Annunciazione Gardner alla Porziuncola’, Archivum Franciscanum historicum, vol. 71 (1978), pp. 459–62
  • F. Zeri: ‘Postilla al Maestro dell’Annunciazione Gardner’, Paragone, vol. 36(429) (1985), pp. 3–6
  • A. Ricci: ‘Pier Matteo d’Amelia e la pala dei Francescani: Un documento notarile per identicare l’autore dell’opera’, Arte sacra in Umbria e dipinti restaurati nei secoli XIII–XX (Perugia, 1986), pp. 47–9

Master of the Gathering of Manna

  • James Snyder

(fl c. 1460–75).

North Netherlandish painter. Named by Haverkamp Begemann after the painting of the Gathering of Manna (Douai, Mus. Mun.), the artist appears to have been a Haarlem painter and close follower of Albert van Ouwater. A second panel, the Fire Offering of the Jews with a grisaille figure of St Peter on the reverse (Rotterdam, Mus. Boymans–van Beuningen), is closely related in style and size. The two probably formed the wings of an altarpiece celebrating the Eucharist, since both are familiar Old Testament antetypes (Exodus 16:14–15 and 13:10–12) for the Last Supper. This typology and the style of the squat figures, cramped into exaggerated spatial settings, suggest that the artist was familiar with woodcut illustrations in blockbooks often believed to have been produced in Haarlem, c. 1465–75, the Biblia pauperum and the Speculum humanae salvationis. The same style characterizes the miniatures in Utrecht manuscripts of the period (e.g. the Bible of Evert van Soudenbalch; c. 1465; Vienna, Österreich. Nbib., Cod. 2771–2). A Crucifixion (Saint-Germain-en-Laye, priv. col., see Friedländer, iii, pl. 55) has also been associated with the panels in Douai and Rotterdam as part of the same altarpiece. A fourth painting by the Master, the Healing of the Blind Man of Jericho (Blaricum, Kleiweg de Zwaan-Vellema priv. col.), is typical of narrative paintings in the northern Netherlands and has four episodes of the story (Mark 10:46–52) set in a deep landscape along a winding road. Borrowings from Ouwater’s Raising of Lazarus (Berlin, Gemäldegal.; for illustration see Ouwater, Albert van) are evident, but the treatment of the figures is less accomplished. The Master’s paintings, together with the woodcuts and the Utrecht miniatures, form an important body of works linking Ouwater’s generation to that of Geertgen tot Sint Jans in Haarlem painting.

For possible identifications see Netherlands, Kingdom of the, §III, 2.


  • M. J. Friedländer: Die altniederländische Malerei (Berlin, 1924–37); Eng. trans. as Early Netherlandish Painting (Leiden, 1967–76)
  • K. G. Boon: ‘Een Hollands altaar van omstreeks 1470’ [A Dutch altar of around 1470], Oud-Holland, vol. 65 (1950), pp. 207–15
  • E. Haverkamp Begemann: ‘Een Noord-Nederlandsche primitief’, Bull. Mus. Boymans, vol. 2 (1951), pp. 51–7
  • Middeleeuwse kunst der noordelijke Nederlander: 150 jaar Rijksmuseum jubileumtentoonstelling (Amsterdam, 1958), pp. 55–8
  • J. Snyder: ‘The Early Haarlem School of Painting’, Art Bulletin, vol. 42 (1960), pp. 48–9
  • A. Châtelet: Les Primitifs hollandais (Paris and Fribourg, 1980); Eng. trans. as Early Dutch Painting (Oxford and New York, 1981), pp. 88–90
  • J. R. J. van Asperen de Boer and others: ‘The Enigmatic Underdrawing of the Master of the Gathering of Manna’, Le Dessin sous-jacent dans la peinture: Colloque VIII: Louvain-la-Neuve, 1989, pp. 103–7

Master of the Geneva Boccaccio.

See under §I, .

Master of the Geneva Latini.

See §I, .

Master of Gerlamoos.

See Artula von Villach, Thomas.

Master of the Getty Epistles.

See under §II, .

Gil Master.

See Alcanyis [Alcañiz], Miguel.

Master of the Girart de Roussillon [Girart Master; Meister der Chronik von Jerusalem] (flc 1450–70).

  • Hans J. Van Miegroet

South Netherlandish illuminator. His name is derived from the Roman de Girart de Roussillon (Vienna, Österreich. Nbib., Cod. 2549), which was copied in 1448 in the workshop of Jean Wauquelin in Mons and illuminated shortly afterwards. The Girart Master is generally identified as the Bruges illuminator Dreux Jean, who worked for Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy. The Master also painted miniatures in grisaille and in colour in such manuscripts as the Chroniques de Jérusalem abrégiées (Vienna, Österreich. Nbib., Cod. 2533); the Entry into Jerusalem (fol. 5r) in grisaille at the beginning of Jean Gerson’s Passion de Nostre Seigneur (Brussels, Bib. Royale Albert 1er, MSS 9081–2) was painted for the Duke of Burgundy. A single leaf (Berlin, Kstbib. & Mus., no. 4005, 6) has been attributed to the Girart Master; miniatures by his hand also occur in, among others, a prayerbook (Paris, Bib. N., MS. nouv. acq. fr. 16428) and the Passion de St Adrien (Paris, Col. Count de Waziers).


  • A. de Schryver: ‘Pour une meilleure orientation des recherches à propos du Maître de Girart de Roussillon’, Rogier van der Weyden en zijn tijd. Internationaal colloquium: Brussel, 1964, pp. 43–75
  • G. Dogaer: Flemish Miniature Painting in the 15th and 16th Centuries (Amsterdam, 1987), pp. 15, 65, 69, 77–82, 109, 133

Girona Master

  • Robert Gibbs

(fl Bologna, c. 1260–c. 1290).

Illuminator, active in Italy. He may be identifiable as the scribe Bernardino da Modena (fl Bologna, 1268–9). Conti named this illuminator after his work in the Girona Bible or Bible of Charles V (Girona, Bib. Capitolare), which is signed by the scribe magister bernardinus de mutina/ fecit: since the inscription and its decoration are entirely in ink, this may refer only to the writing and layout. The Master’s earliest surviving work, executed with the help of one or two assistants, is probably a Psalter (Bologna, Bib. U., MS. 346), containing a calendar of Paduan Use and a Passion cycle with perhaps the first extensive landscape settings in Italian or western European art. The painterly execution, use of the finest blue and violet pigments and the decoration of the richly decorated text provide the closest reflection of Palaiologan art in Italy; the artist seems to have had first-hand knowledge of Byzantine or Armenian court art, and he may have been of Greek origin.

In addition to the Girona Bible, the artist illuminated another sumptuous Bible (Madrid, Escorial, Bib. Monasterio S Lorenzo, Cod. a. I. 5) and at least two series of choir-books. The illumination of those for S Francesco, Bologna (Bologna, Mus. Civ. Med., MSS 525–7), has conventionally been described as Cimabuesque; it is, however, far closer to its Byzantine sources than Cimabue’s own work, and most of the Master’s work is earlier than Cimabue’s and probably an influence on it. The Calling of SS Peter and Andrew (Bologna, Mus. Civ. Med., MS 526, fol. 7r) is remarkable for including an ancient vessel with projecting prow and an evocative rocky shore. Even finer painting is found in the choir-books of S Jacopo a Ripoli (Florence, S Marco, MSS 561–2). The iconography used by this artist in a copy of Gratian’s Decretals (Princeton U., NJ, Lib., Garret MS. 97) allows it to be dated earlier than the copy (Rome, Vatican, Bib. Apostolica, MS. Vat. lat. 1375) signed by Jacopino da Reggio, who is documented between 1269 and 1286. The Girona Master is the finest Bolognese illuminator and the principal creator of the so-called ‘Second Style’ of Bolognese illumination (see Bologna, §II, 1). He is probably responsible for the extensive influence of contemporary Palaiologan art on such Roman and Tuscan painters as Cimabue and Duccio.


  • M. Jacoff: ‘The Bible of Charles V and Related Works: Bologna, Byzantium and the West in the Late Thirteenth Century’, Il medio oriente e l’occidente nell’arte del XIII secolo. Atti del XXIV congresso: Bologna, 1979, vol. 2), pp. 163–72
  • A. Conti: La miniatura bolognese: Scuole e botteghe (Bologna, 1981), pp. 39–54, pls 8–9, 11, figs 61–111
  • R. Gibbs: ‘Landscape as Property: Bolognese Law Manuscripts and the Development of Landscape Painting’, Il codice miniato laico. Atti del IV congresso di storia della miniatura italiana: Cortona, 1992

Master of the Glorification of the Virgin

  • Hans M. Schmidt

(fl Cologne, c. 1470–94).

German painter. He is named after a large panel, densely filled with numerous figures, showing the Glorification of the Virgin (c. 1475; ex-St Brigida, Cologne; Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Mus.). His inflexible concept of form, archaic compositional patterns, and numerous references to the work of Stefan Lochner point to his starting work in mid-century. A small panel showing the Virgin and Infant Jesus on a Bench (Berlin, priv. col.) was very likely produced before the Glorification. A Portrait of a Young Man (c. 1480; Penrhyn, nr Bangor, priv. col.) shows a matter-of-fact and thorough style following the example of the portraits of Dieric Bouts and Hans Memling. The south Netherlandish Master of Flémalle’s Werl Altarpiece, then in Cologne, influenced the Master’s Annunciation (c. 1490; Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Mus.), and other Netherlandish influences—perhaps the Columba Triptych by Rogier van der Weyden (c. 1450; ex-Columba, Cologne; Munich, Alte Pin.) and works by Hugo van der Goes—left traces in his works. The various components come most clearly to light in the magnificent Adoration of the Magi (?1493; ?ex-Franziskanerkirche, Brühl, Aachen, Suermondt-Ludwig-Mus.). Large panels showing St Christopher, the city patrons SS Gereon and Peter, and St Anne, the Virgin, and the Infant Jesus (after 1493; Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Mus.) offer a fine representation of sculpturally conceived saints before a true-to-life view of Cologne and its environs, seen from the Rhine. Not until Anton Woensam’s woodcut vedute (1531; Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Mus.) was this prospect of the city surpassed.


  • L. A. Scheibler: Die hervorragendsten anonymen Meister und Werke der Kölner Malerschule von 1460 bis 1500 (diss., U. Bonn, 1880), pp. 44–7
  • A. Stange: Deutsche Malerei der Gotik, vol. 5 (Munich, 1952), pp. 16–21
  • H. M. Schmidt: ‘Zum Werk des Meisters der Verherrlichung Mariae’, Schülerfestgabe für Herbert von Einem zum 16. Februar 1965 (Bonn, 1965), pp. 249–60
  • A. Stange: Die deutschen Tafelbilder von Dürer: Kritisches Verzeichnis, vol. 1 (Munich, 1967), pp. 55–7, nos 140–48
  • Herbst des Mittelalters: Spätgotik in Köln und am Niederrhein (exh. cat., Cologne, Ksthalle, 1970), p. 43

Master of the Golden Panel of Lüneburg

  • Brigitte Corley

(fl c. 1431–5).

German painter. He is named after the high altarpiece of the Benedictine monastery of St Michael in Lüneburg. The Golden Panel was a Romanesque gold antependium (destr. after 1698) that housed relics and treasures from the monastery. Its painted double wings (Hannover, Niedersächs. Landesmus.) are likely to have been added in 1431 to mark the completed reconstruction of the partially destroyed church. The closed wings (oak, 2.31×1.84 m each) showed the Crucifixion juxtaposed with its typological parallel, the Brazen Serpent. The inside of the outer wings and the outside of the inner wings depict 36 scenes from the Life of the Virgin and the Passion of Christ, starting with an Annunciation and culminating in the Coronation of the Virgin. On the inside, the inner wings are decorated with carved and gilded figures of saints and prophets.

Blaschke argued that the painted panels were the work of two successive painters. However, examination by infra-red photography has revealed a consistent vigorous underdrawing style indicating a single designer (Corley). Surface characteristics, on the other hand, reflect at least three hands, presumably in workshop collaboration. The design and style, the variety of hues and the painterly application of colours all suggest intimate knowledge of the work of Conrad von Soest. The sometimes haphazard use of models from Conrad’s workshop may suggest that the painter trained with Conrad. It is interesting to note that a ‘Cord von Soest’ is recorded in the Lüneburg records between 1426 and 1451.


  • M. Kempfer: ‘Die Farbigkeit als Kriterium für Werkstattbeziehungen, dargestellt an zehn Altären aus der Zeit zwischen 1370 und 1430’, Giessener Beiträge zur Kunstgeschichte, vol. 2 (1973), pp. 7–49
  • R. Blaschke: Studien zur Malerei der Lüneburger ‘Goldenen Tafel’ (diss., Bochum, Ruhr-Univ., 1976)
  • B. Corley: Conrad von Soest: His Altarpieces, his Workshop and his Place in European Art (diss., U. London, Courtauld Inst. A. and Birkbeck Coll., 1991)
  • B. Corley: Conrad von Soest, Painter among Merchant Princes (London, 1996)

Gold Scrolls Group

  • Bert Cardon

(fl c. 1415–55).

Group of south Netherlandish illuminators. First identified by Winkler as the Master of the Gold Scrolls, it has subsequently been recognized that the catalogue of works attributed to this figure has assumed such proportions that it must be the product of a group of artists instead. The name derives from the manner in which the backgrounds of the miniatures are often painted: in flat colour, decorated with golden foliated ornament. Further stylistic characteristics are the representation of the figures, which look rather like little dolls with oval faces in which nose, mouth, and eyes are only summarily treated. They are drawn with supple, unbroken lines and make stereotyped gestures. The folds of their garments are straight and sometimes fall softly in waves to the ground. Shallow pocket pleats formed above the belts are also typical, and the forms are modelled with hatched pen-strokes or by gradations in the paint. The dominant colours are green, blue, red, and orange. The scenes take place in coulisse-type landscapes or fairly elaborate interiors. The depiction of cloth printed with small circles is also characteristic of the group.

The Gold Scrolls Group was particularly active in Bruges but in its early years appears to have had strong connections with Paris. This is apparent in the Hours of Edward I of Portugal (1433–8; Lisbon, Arquiv. N., MS. 140), where the influence of the Boucicaut Master is clear. The Hours of Joseph Bonaparte (Paris, Bib. N., MS. lat. 10538), left incomplete in the workshop of the Boucicaut Master c. 1415, was later completed by the Gold Scrolls Group. The influence of the workshop of Jacquemart de Hesdin has also been established, and there are connections with the work of the master of the beaufort saints (see above). The Gold Scrolls miniatures are also indebted to early 15th-century south Netherlandish illumination. In a few manuscripts, such as the Missal probably created for a church in Genoa (before 1431; New York, Morgan Lib. & Mus., MS. M. 374), both Parisian and south Netherlandish influences are apparent. This also applies to a Book of Hours in The Hague (The Hague, Kon. Bib., MS. 133. D. 14) and another in Brussels (Brussels, Bib. Royale Albert 1er, MS. 18270).

Typical Gold Scrolls manuscripts from the years after 1425 include richly illuminated Books of Hours that form a distinctive group (e.g. Baltimore, MD, Walters A. Mus., MS. W. 211; New York, Pub. Lib., MS. 28; and Paris, Bib. Ste Geneviève, MS. 1274). It can be deduced from these that the artists in the group were collaborating freely and in constantly varying combinations. Manuscripts with identification marks stamped in the borders near the miniatures—a protectionist practice that arose out of the Bruges municipal statutes of 1426—also date from this period (e.g. Rouen, Bib. Mun., MS. Leber 135). This suggests that the artists worked under the guidance of a book dealer.

The Gold Scrolls Group also illuminated tracts such as Le Livre du gouvernement des rois et des princes (Brussels, Bib. Royale Albert 1er, MS. 9474), Bibles (e.g. 1432; London, BL, Yates Thompson MS. 16) and manuscripts of religious exercises (London, BL, Add. MS. 39638). There is also a distinct group of manuscripts, the so-called Pen and Ink Group, which have been illustrated with pen drawings. They consist of a manuscript with scenes from the Life of Christ (New York, Morgan Lib. & Mus., MS. M. 649) and three copies of the Speculum humanae salvationis (New York, Morgan Lib. & Mus., MS. M. 385; Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 188; and Copenhagen, Kon. Bib., MS. GK.S. 79).

Around 1450 the Gold Scrolls Group illuminated more luxurious manuscripts, such as the Montfort Book of Hours (Vienna, Österreich. Nbib., Cod. s.n. 12878), the Llangatock Book of Hours (Los Angeles, CA, Getty Mus., MS. Ludwig IX 7) and the Hours of Isabella the Catholic (Madrid, Bib. Pal.). During this period the group’s style was assimilated by a new generation of illuminators, including the Master of the Magdalen Missal (fl mid- 15th century), providing a transition to the types of book production dominated by Willem Vrelant in the third quarter of the 15th century.


  • F. Winkler: Die flämische Buchmalerei des XV. und XVI. Jahrhunderts (Leipzig, 1925/R Amsterdam, 1978), pp. 25–7
  • A. W. Byvanck: ‘Aanteekeningen over handschriften met miniaturen ix: De Noordnederlandsche kunst en de miniaturen uit Zuid-Nederland en uit Noord-Frankrijk’ [Notes on manuscripts with miniatures ix: northern Netherlandish art and the miniatures from the southern Netherlands and northern France], Oudheidkundig jaarboek, vol. 10 (1930), pp. 104–15
  • A. W. Byvanck: ‘Kroniek der Noord-Nederlandsche miniaturen ii’ [Chronicle of the northern Netherlandish miniatures ii], Oudheidkundig jaarboek, n. s. 3, vol. 4 (1935), pp. 15–16
  • E. Panofsky: Early Netherlandish Painting, 2 vols (Cambridge, MA, 1953), pp. 121–3
  • De Vlaamse miniatuur: Het mecenaat van Filips de Goede [The Flemish miniature: the patronage of Philip the Good] (exh. cat. by L. M. J. Delaissé, Brussels, Bib. Royale Albert 1er, 1959), pp. 18–19, 28–33
  • J. D. Farquhar: ‘Identity in an Anonymous Age: Bruges Manuscript Illuminators and their Signs’, Viator, vol. 11 (1980), pp. 371–83
  • M. Smeyers and B. Cardon: ‘Vier eeuwen Vlaamse miniatuurkunst in handschriften uit het Grootseminarie te Brugge’ [Four centuries of Flemish miniature art in manuscripts from the Seminary in Bruges], De Duinenabdij en het Grootseminarie te Brugge [The Abbey of the Dunes and the Seminary in Bruges] (Tielt-Weesp, 1984), pp. 161–6
  • B. Cardon: ‘The Illustrations and the Gold Scrolls Group, Typologische Tafeleren uit het Leven van Jesus [Typological scenes from the Life of Christ]: A Manuscript from the Gold Scrolls Group (Bruges, c. 1440) in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, MS. Morgan 649’, Corpus of Illuminated Manuscripts from the Low Countries, vol. 1, ed. M. Smeyers (Leuven, 1985), pp. 119–204
  • G. Dogaer: Flemish Miniature Painting in the 15th and 16th Centuries (Amsterdam, 1987), pp. 27–31
  • M. T. Orr: ‘The Hours of Elizabeth the Queen: Evidence for Collaboration between English Illuminators and an Artist from the Gold Scrolls Group’, Flanders in a European Perspective: Manuscript Illumination around 1400 in Flanders and Abroard: Leuven, 1993, pp. 619–33

Master of the Goslar Sibyls

(fl c. 1508–10).

German painter. He is named after the paintings on the panelling of the conference room (the ‘Huldigungssaal’) in the Rathaus at Goslar. Twelve kings and emperors are portrayed alternately with sibyls in contemporary dress, each pair of rulers turning towards the sibyl between them but divided from her by a thin wooden pillar and surrounded by rich tracery. The sibyls stand on grass, the rulers on paved floors, against a background of drapes and landscapes. Painted curtains affixed to poles border the lower edge of the pictures. Each picture on the ceiling has a richly ornamented frame. The scenes are dominated by red, blue, and a brownish, modulating yellow. The damask patterns of the garments were printed on, using templates.

The unique imagery of the paintings (which were discovered in 1854, behind filing cabinets) illustrates the sibyls’ prophecy of the coming of Christ and (simultaneously) of the emperors and kings (see Vöge). The conference chamber has been likened (Goldberg) to a medieval shrine, here turned in on itself. Its theme of prophets and sibyls first appeared in the late Middle Ages on choir-stalls (1469–71; Ulm Cathedral), then penetrated into the secular sphere, initially in the conference hall at Überlingen (1492), where it combines with picture cycles of historical rulers, and then in stained-glass windows, cathedral façades, exterior walls of town halls, and the Fürstensaal (1530) of the Lüneburg Rathaus. In Goslar, the Ara coeli legend of the Emperor Augustus, to whom the Tiburtine sibyl prophesied the advent of a new world order, is transferred to the representative of the free imperial town of Goslar, and the hope of salvation is fulfilled in Christ.

On the north and west walls of the conference chamber local saints are painted on the surfaces of the window-openings. On the west wall one panel shows a patron, possibly Johann Papen, Burgomaster (1498–1509) of Goslar, kneeling before (on another panel) the Apocalyptic Virgin on a crescent moon. Opposite this, on the east side, are doors painted on both sides, with a Man of Sorrows and Mater dolorosa on the reverse sides giving on to the Trinity Chapel, the walls of which have seven pictures (including scenes of the Passion) painted in secco technique. On the chapel’s ceiling are four panels depicting the Childhood of Christ, surrounded by the Evangelists and twelve Prophets. None of the documents relating to the construction of the conference chamber names a painter who could be connected with its decoration. Ascriptions have included Michael Wolgemut, Hans Pleydenwurff, Hans Raphon, and the elusive figure Hans Witten of Cologne. The date of the work is suggested by the fact that a new altar was built over the underlying charnel-house on 31 March 1505, and also by the recent identification of motifs in the Trinity Chapel borrowed from Hans Schäufelein’s Speculum passionis woodcut series (1507). Some evidence supports the theory (Goldberg) that the principal painter, responsible for all the pictures, moved to Goslar from Thuringia or Saxony, the painter of the Trinity Chapel being a stylistically dependent journeyman.

The Calenberg Altar (c. 1515; ex-Burg Calenburg; priv. col.) is without doubt another work by the Master of the Goslar Sibyls. The middle panel is thought to show the family of Duke Erich I of Brunswick-Calenberg (1470–1540), praying before a seated Virgin flanked by two male and two female saints. On the insides of the wings, presenting St Maurice with retinue and three auxiliary saints, the rich draughtsmanship, with elongated, templated garments, is again more imposing than the actual painting of the work. Possible influences can be ascertained in contemporary painting at Hildesheim, in the cathedral altar (c. 1515; Brunswick, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Mus.), and in the high altar (1519) of the former Cistercian convent church at Wienhausen.


  • J. M. Kratz: Hildesheimer allgemeiner Anzeiger, vol. 269 (3 Sept 1858)
  • W. Vöge: Jörg Syrlin der Ältere und seine Bildwerke, vol. 2 (Berlin, 1950), p. 96
  • T. Tappen and H. G. Uhl: ‘Hans Witten von Cöln?’, Fröhlich-Festschrift (Goslar, 1952), p. 104
  • H.-G. Griep: ‘Der Goslarer “Huldigungssaal-meister”’, Harz-Zeitschrift, vol. 11 (1959), p. 113
  • G. Goldberg: Der Huldigungssaal im Rathaus zu Goslar (diss., U. Munich, 1960)

Master of the Göttinger Barfüsseraltar

  • Hans Georg Gmelin

(fl 1424).

German painter. He is named after an enormous altarpiece (1424; Hannover, Niedersächs. Landesmus.) from the Franciscan Barfüsserkirche (destr. 1820–24) in Göttingen. All surfaces of the work are painted, and it comprises a central panel, two pairs of wings and remnants of supports, presenting scenes of the Passion, SS Francis and George, and the Virgin (third view), the Apostles with the Texts of the Creed (second view), four allegories of Christ’s Deeds for Mankind (first view), and, on the supports, Female Saints. The altarpiece was apparently a late work, in which the Master’s draughtsmanship and painting skills had become rigid and fossilized. It shows a strong influence from the Master of the Golden Panel of Lüneburg and, in the large Mount Calvary breaking through the rows of images, a knowledge of Conrad von Soest’s Wildungen Altarpiece (1403; Bad Wildungen, St Maria, Elizabeth und Nikolaus). For this work the Master’s patron was probably Brother Luthelmus, who is portrayed in miniature kneeling under the cross, with Henricus Duderstat. Whether the latter was the painter remains uncertain, but it is assumed that the Master was a Franciscan patronized by the nobility (coats of arms on the Creed panels). The altarpiece brings the ‘soft style’ of painting (see Germany, Federal Republic of, §III, 2) in Lower Saxony to a close.

Two wings of an altar of St Mary Magdalene (1416; ex-Magdalenenkirche, Hildesheim; Hamburg, Ksthalle; Stuttgart and Münster, priv. cols; central panel untraced) are considered earlier works of the same artist. The wings show that the painter was influenced initially by the work of Master Bertram, as is evident for example in a comparison of the dense arrangement of the figures in the Supper with Simon with Master Bertram’s Last Supper (before 1383; Paris, Mus. A. Déc.). In a small altarpiece (c. 1420) in the chapel at Offensen near Holzminden, with panels of the Annunciation and Nativity (central panel, Bielefeld, Neustädter Marienkirche), the influence of Westphalian painting is evident in the Annunciation and in the baldacchino motif.


  • R. Behrens: Der Göttinger Barfüsser-Altar: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der niedersächsischen Malerei des frühen 15. Jahrhunderts (Bonn, 1939)
  • R. Behrens: ‘Der Altar in Offensen’, Niederdeutsche Beiträge zur Kunstgeschichte, vol. 4 (1965), pp. 89–100

Gregory Master.

See §I, .

Master of the Griggs Crucifixion.

See Toscani, Giovanni.

Griselda Master

  • Creighton E. Gilbert

(fl c. 1490).

Italian painter. He was named after a set of three spalliera panels (London, N.G.) devoted to Boccaccio’s Story of Patient Griselda (Decameron, X.10). They had been assigned to Pinturicchio, and the Master’s style is rightly linked to Umbria, although he was active chiefly in Siena. The tall, spindly figures on the panels show vibrant movement and are dressed in elegant costumes, despite their crude, sticklike, sketchy execution. The artist’s personality was established by the discovery of the same hand at work in small background scenes in a set of panels of single figures standing on pedestals with landscape backgrounds. Eight panels of the set by various artists have been identified. Four of the panels are by Sienese painters: Matteo di Giovanni’s Judith (Bloomington, IN U. A. Mus.); Neroccio de’ Landi’s Claudia Quinta (Washington, DC, N.G.A.; see Italy, fig. ); Francesco di Giorgio’s Scipio Africanus (Florence, Bargello); and Pietro Orioli’s Sulpicia (Baltimore, MD, Walters A. Mus.). The other four were first attributed to Signorelli but now are given by consensus to an artist dependent on him, plausibly considered to be the Griselda Master himself: Artemisia (Milan, Mus. Poldi Pezzoli); Eunostos (Washington, DC, N.G.A.); Alexander (U. Birmingham, Barber Inst.); and Tiberius Gracchus the Elder (Budapest, Mus. F.A.). Though more suave and sculptural, the main figures share the smaller ones’ finicky, dancer-like refinement. The shared theme of persons behaving virtuously to the opposite sex is that of the Griselda panels too, and the figures were probably made for a grand house, perhaps for a marriage; the Piccolomini and Spanocchi families of Siena have been suggested.

The frequent comparison with Andrea del Castagno’s series of Nine Famous Men and Women (Florence, Uffizi) can be enhanced, in that both sets include one half-length figure, the only Biblical one, in each case an Old Testament heroine (in this case Judith, for Castagno Esther). Hence Judith may, like Esther, have been over a door in the middle of the wall, the central and highest-ranking figure. There would then have had to have been a ninth panel. It is consistent that the seven surviving secular panels comprise two male Romans and two male Greeks (in both cases one military, one civil), two female Romans (one virgin, one wife), and one female Greek (a wife). A candidate for a ninth figure, as a Greek virgin, is Hippo. The usual reconstruction regards the set of eight as complete, because there are four men and four women, and assumes that the Judith has been cut. That the ethnic clusters are significant is also suggested in that the Greek figures are all by the Griselda Master, whereas the other five are each by a different artist, including one by him; the work is often said to have begun with the better-known artists assisted by the Griselda Master for backgrounds, after which the Master took over and completed the set.

The logical place to seek other work by the Griselda Master is in the backgrounds of paintings by Luca Signorelli (as Longhi suggested); there are little scenes by him in the background of Signorelli’s Last Days of Moses in the Sistine Chapel, Rome (1481–2), and some large figures in the foreground of the same scene. The Sistine cycle is notorious for complex collaborations between masters and assistants. Signorelli and his followers are often credited with parts of Perugino’s Giving of the Keys, and the Griselda Master seems to have painted the Tribute Money group in the background of that scene and an elegant portrait figure in front of it. Of all the distinctive styles in the chapel, the Griselda Master’s is the only one not fitted with an artist’s name, and so he may well be the only artist named by Vasari as working in the chapel by whom no works are known, Rocco Zoppo. As confirmation, this man worked with Perugino (so explaining the Umbrian style) but was born in Belforte, close to Siena, thus matching the Master’s career. The portrait figure in the Giving of the Keys is a clue to the specific origins of his style in the Peruginesque San Bernardino panels (Perugia, G.N. Umbria).


  • A. Venturi: ‘I quadri di scuola italiana nella Galleria Nazionale di Budapest’, Arte, vol. 3 (1900), pp. 185–240 (237–8)
  • G. De Nicola: ‘Notes on the Museo Nazionale of Florence, v: Fragments of Two Series of Renaissance Representations of Greek and Roman Heroes’, Burlington Magazine, vol. 31 (1917), pp. 224–8
  • F. Canuti: Il Perugino (Siena, 1931) [on Rocco Zoppo]
  • R. Longhi: ‘Un intervento raffaelesco nella serie “eroica” di Casa Piccolomini’, Paragone, vol. 15(175) (1964), pp. 5–8
  • B. Berenson: Central and North Italian Schools (1968), vol. 1, p. 252
  • V. Tatrai: ‘Il Maestro della Storia di Griselda e una famiglia senese di mecenati dimenticata’, Acta historiae artium Academiae scientiarum Hungaricae, vol. 25 (1979), pp. 27–66
  • E. Zafran: Fifty Old Master Paintings from the Walters Art Gallery (Baltimore, 1988), no. 13 [for late 20th-century opinions on the Master and important bibliog.]
  • A. Barriault: ‘Spalliera’ Paintings of Renaissance Tuscany (University Park, PA, 1994)
  • L. B. Kanter: ‘Rethinking the Griselda Master’, Gazette des beaux-arts, vol. 135 (2000), pp. 147–56
  • C. Christensen, J. Dunkerton, and L. Syson: ‘The Master of the Story of Griselda and Paintings for Sienese Palaces’, Renaissance Siena and Perugia, 1490–1510 (London, 2006), pp. 4–71

Master of Grossgmain.

  • Albin Rohrmoser

Austrian painter. He is named from four wing panels (1499; Grossgmain, nr Salzburg, Maria Himmelfahrt) of a dismantled altar of the Virgin and two very tall panels depicting the Virgin and Child and Salvator mundi perhaps produced in conjunction with them. The wing panels depict the Presentation in the Temple, Christ among the Doctors, the Descent of the Holy Ghost, and the Death of the Virgin; the normally exposed faces have been destroyed apart from a few fragments that have been removed. The close stylistic relation with the work of Rueland Frueauf (i) was noted early on and superseded the incorrect attribution to Bartholomäus Zeitblom. The independent Master of Grossgmain is now widely regarded as the ‘dominant personality in a workshop that must probably be seen as an extension or a branch of the Frueauf workshop’ (Demus). His origin in the artistic milieu of Salzburg is not usually contested. The common use of the same punch for the decoration of the backgrounds of paintings confirms a direct link with Frueauf (Zimmermann), of whom he is thought to have been a pupil.

With the Master of Grossgmain, loosely dispersed figures or chains of figures entered Salzburg painting for the first time; these figures occupy a space with an accentuated but uneven perspective that, like the scattered, still-life-like objects, intensifies the still and subdued quality of the whole conception. The lack of interest in convincing spatial relationships is deliberately demonstrated by the close spacing of distant points, resulting in highly compressed perspective views.

Other works attributed to the Master of Grossgmain are the Virgin Enthroned with St Thomas and Donors (1483; Prague, N. Mus.), the Coronation of the Virgin (Prague, N. Mus.), St Augustine and St Ambrose (perhaps the predella of the Grossgmain Altar; both Vienna, Belvedere), and the Education of Christ (Boston, MA, Mus. F.A.). Disputed works are the Pretschlaipfer Triptych (ex-Berchtesgadenerhof, Salzburg; Vienna, Belvedere) and St Jerome (Madrid, Mus. Thyssen-Bornemisza).


  • L. Baldass: Conrad Laib und die beiden Rueland Frueauf (Vienna, 1946), pp. 71–3, nos 73, 110–27
  • A. Stange: Deutsche Malerei der Gotik, vol. 10 (Berlin, 1960), pp. 43–6, nos 70–75
  • O. Demus: ‘Zu den Tafeln des Grossgmainer Altars’, Österreichische Zeitschrift für Kunst und Denkmalpflege, vol. 19 (1965), pp. 43–5, pls 34–9
  • E. Baum: Katalog des Museums Mittelalterlicher Österreichischer Kunst, vol. 1 of Kunst der Österreichische Galerie Wien (Vienna and Munich, 1971), pp. 102–3
  • Spätgotik in Salzburg: Die Malerei, 1400–1530 (exh. cat., ed. A. Rohrmoser; Salzburg, Mus. Carolino Augusteum, 1972)
  • E.-M. Zimmermann: Studien zur Frueauf-Problem (Rueland Frueauf der Ältere und der Meister der Grossgmain) (diss., U. Vienna, 1975)

Master of Grosslobming

  • Lothar Schultes

(fl c. 1380–1420).

Sculptor, active principally in Austria. He derives his name from five of the figures from the choir of the parish church of Grosslobming (Styria), which may be from a cycle commissioned by Ernst von Lobming c. 1400–03 in connection with his tomb (except for the Virgin Annunciate (Frankfurt am Main, Liebieghaus), all Vienna, Belvedere). Since Kris, these have been considered among the main representatives of the Schöne Stil (‘Beautiful style’). The Grosslobming figures appear, however, to be the works of two artists, whose parts cannot be divided exactly: one carved figures of St George, St Lambertus (the titular saint of the church) and the Virgin Annunciate; the other made the figures of St John and the Angel Annunciate. Both sculptors are indebted to Western prototypes, but only the sculptor of the St George appears actually to have been trained in the Netherlands. His work is technically of very high quality, and he vests his figures with a certain ‘psychological’ insight.

These characteristics are also found in a Man of Sorrows (Vienna, Belvedere) from Pfenningberg near Linz and in three portal figures at Steyr parish church. Two figures in Linz, a Virgin (Bischöf. Diözmus.) and a bishop (priv. col., on loan to Oberösterreich. Landesmus.), probably belonged to the same ensemble, which may originally have been in a chapel of the church. These works are related to a Virgin and Child in Falkenstein church (Lower Austria) and a saint formerly in the Hinrichsen Collection. The latter shows closer similarities than any other to the paintings of the Třeboň Abbey altar (fragments, Prague, N.G.), made c. 1378–85, but also to contemporary Viennese glass painting. The earliest work of this circle has also been preserved in Vienna: a bust of the Virgin that was added c. 1380 to an older figure of St Anne on the south tower of the Stephansdom (Vienna, Hist. Mus.).

Although the Master of Grosslobming’s style shows Franco-Flemish influence, he probably also knew the work of the Prussian-Silesian Master of the Schöne Madonnen, such as the Hedwig boss in Holy Cross Church, Wrocław. That the Master of Grosslobming had actually travelled to eastern Germany is demonstrated by the head of St John from the south portal of Meissen Cathedral (Berlin, Staatl. Museen Preuss. Kultbes.), which is closely related to his style. The Man of Sorrows called ‘Zahnwehherrgott’ (Christ as healer of toothache) in the Stephansdom, Vienna, can be attributed to his workshop. A St Peter in the monastery of St Lambert and a Pietà in the crypt of Lienz parish church (eastern Tyrol) are not entirely by his hand, and other shop work includes two saints (Klosterneuburg Abbey, Lapidarium) and a Virgin from the Schulhof in Vienna (Vienna, Hist. Mus.), these showing distinct similarities to the style of the Parler family.

The Master and some other sculptors were probably called to Buda c. 1410 to decorate the palace of King Sigismund with a lavish cycle of figures (perhaps on the occasion of his coronation). A number of these statues, which were excavated in 1974, are related to the group at Steyr (Virgin, head of maid), while others are dependent on the figures in Grosslobming (herald, bishop), although they have far greater plasticity. This new style is also represented by the effigy of Ulrich II von Schaunberg (d 1398) in Wilhering Church near Linz and the figures of the Annunciation in New York (Met.; Cloisters), all probably dating to the period just before the Buda sculptures were made.

A group of three figures preserved in the presbytery of S Marco, Venice, represents the last phase of the Master’s activity. This shows distinct early Renaissance tendencies. That a northern artist could show such sympathies is demonstrated by a model book in the Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, which has been attributed to a Netherlandish artist and not only shows stylistic links to the Master’s work but also appears to have travelled a route that corresponds remarkably well to the regions in which he is presumed to have worked. Hans von Judenburg was a follower of the Master.


  • E. Kris: ‘Über eine gotische Georgs-Statue und ihre nächsten Verwandten’, Jahrbuch der kunsthistorischen Sammlungen in Wien [prev. pubd as Jb. Ksthist. Samml. Allhöch. Ksrhaus.], n. s., vol. 4 (1930), pp. 121–54
  • E. Baum: Katalog des Museums Mittelalterlicher Österreichischer Kunst (Vienna and Munich, 1971), pp. 22–7, nos. 4–8
  • K. Ginhart: Die Fürstenstatuen von St Stephan in Wien und die Bildwerke aus Grosslobming (Klagenfurt, 1972)
  • E. Marosi: ‘Vorläufige kunsthistorische Bemerkungen zum Skulpturenfund von 1974 in der Burg von Buda’, Acta historiae artium Academiae scientiarum Hungaricae, vol. 22 (1976), pp. 333–73
  • H. Beck and H. Bredekamp: ‘Kompilation der Form in der Skulptur um 1400: Beobachtungen an Werken des Meisters von Grosslobming’, Städel-Jahrbuch, n. s., vol. 6 (1977), pp. 139–57
  • Gotik in der Steiermark (exh. cat., Graz, Kultreferat Steiermärk. Landesregierung, 1978), pp. 203–4, 225–7, 230–33, 240–41
  • M. Horvath, ed.: Der Königspalast und die gotischen Statuen des mittelalterlichen Buda (Budapest, 1980)
  • L. Schultes: ‘Der Meister von Grosslobming und die Wiener Plastik des Schönen Stils’, Wiener Jahrbuch für Kunstgeschichte, vol. 39 (1986), pp. 1–40, 223–44
  • L. Zolnay and E. Marosi: A budavári szoborlelet [Sculpture from the castle of Buda] (Budapest, 1989)
  • L. Schultes: ‘Der Meister von Grosslobming und Hans von Judenburg: Zeit- und Individualstil um 1400’, Internationale Gotik in Mitteleuropa, ed. G. Pochat and B. Wagner (Graz, 1990), pp. 253–68
  • Der Meister von Grosslobming (exh. cat. by A. Saliger, Vienna, Belvedere, 1994) [colour illus.]

Master of the Guild of St George

(fl c. 1485–1504).

Painter, active in Mechelen. He was named by Friedländer after the Portrait of the Members of the Guild of St George (c. 1495; Antwerp, Kon. Mus. S. Kst.), one of the earliest surviving group portraits in Netherlandish painting. He has sometimes been identified with Boudewijn van Battel (fl 1465–1508), also known as van der Wyct, but this remains conjectural. Other paintings (both portraits and narratives) have been attributed to him on stylistic grounds: Jean de Mol (c. 1485; U. London, Courtauld Inst. Gals); a diptych showing Philip the Fair and Margaret of Austria (c. 1494; Vienna, Ksthist. Mus.); panels illustrating the Legend of St Rombaut (c. 1500–03; Mechelen Cathedral); the triptych of Charles V and his Sisters as Children (c. 1502; Vienna, Ksthist. Mus.); and the Seigneur of Bricquegny (c. 1504; Ghent, Despiegelaere priv. col.). His style and technique are highly personal. Narrative compositions are a montage of individual images; the demands of the narrative sequence are given precedence over perspectival unity, and consequently there is only a limited sense of spatial illusion. In the portraits the emblematic element determines the composition. Realism and convention are combined by individualizing the faces within a standard formula and by varying the handling of the modelling. The stiff figures are ill-proportioned, with tiny bodies, large heads, and stubby hands; the drapery is composed of tight, angular folds. Compositions are sketched with areas of colour used as the base tone of the pictorial design; rough outlines in the underdrawing are reinforced on the surface by heavy lines. Together with the systematic alterations to the composition during execution, these features indicate the prime importance for the artist of the painting process in the elaboration of the forms.


  • G. Van Doorslaer: ‘Un Portraitiste malinois du XVème siècle’, Bulletin du Cercle archéologique, littéraire et artistique de Malines [cont. as Bull. Cerc. Archéol., Litt. & A. Malines/Hand. Kon. Kring Oudhdknd., Lett. & Kst Mechelen] (1921), pp. 14–20
  • M. J. Friedländer: Die altniederländische Malerei (Berlin, 1924–37); Eng. trans. as Early Netherlandish Painting (Leiden, 1967–76), vol. 4 (1969); vol. 14, p. 67, suppl., pp. 13–14
  • G. Delmarcel and C. Périer-D’Ieteren: ‘De laatgotische schilderkunst te Mechelen’, Aspekten van de laatgotiek in Brabant (exh. cat., Leuven, Brouwerijmus., 1971), pp. 244–59
  • C. Périer-D’Ieteren: ‘Le Portrait d’un seigneur de Bricquegny dû au Maître de la Gilde de Saint-Georges’, Revue belge d’archéologie et d’histoire de l’art [prev. pubd as Rev. Belge Archéol. & Hist. A./Belge Tijdschr. Oudhdknde & Kstgesch.] (1972), pp. 39–53
  • C. Périer-D’Ieteren: ‘Le Triptyque de Charles-Quint et de ses deux soeurs enfants: Une Oeuvre du Maître de la Gilde de Saint-Georges’, Bulletin de l’Institut royal du patrimoine artistique, vol. 14 (1973–4), pp. 105–17
  • C. Périer-D’Ieteren: ‘Le Maître de la Gilde de Saint-Georges: Catalogue critique de cinq des panneaux de la Légende de Saint-Rombaut’, Jaarboek: Koninklijk museum voor schone kunsten [Yearbook: Royal Museum for Fine Arts] (1975), pp. 153–201
  • P. Vandenbroeck: ‘Meester van de Mechelse St. Jorisgilde’, Catalogus schilderijen 14e en 15e eeuw, Antwerp, Kon. Mus. S. Kst. cat. (Antwerp, 1985), pp. 84–9

Master of Guillebert de Metz

  • Bodo Brinkmann

(fl c. 1415–60).

South Netherlandish illuminator. He is named after his work in two manuscripts signed by the scribe Guillebert de Metz. He painted the frontispiece in one, a collection containing Guillebert’s description of the city of Paris, dated 1434, and works by Christine de Pizan and others (Brussels, Bib. Royale Albert 1er, MS. 9559–64). The other codex is a copy of Laurent de Premierfait’s French translation of Boccaccio’s Decameron (Paris, Bib. Arsenal, MS. 5070), in which Guillebert names his place of residence as Grammont (Flem. Geerardsbergen) in East Flanders. The majority of the 100 miniatures in this book were produced by the Master of Mansel, but the Master of Guillebert de Metz illuminated the beginning of the codex, including such miniatures as Richard and Catelle. Guillebert de Metz is also mentioned as living in Grammont in an account of 1432 relating to two books for Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy. In a third manuscript (The Hague, Kon. Bib., MS. 133. A. 2) Guillebert describes himself as ‘libraire de M. le duc Jean de Bourgogne’. According to this, he was already in the service of the Burgundian dukes before the death of John the Fearless in 1419.

The exact nature of the connection between Guillebert and the illuminator who worked principally for him is unclear. Illuminators’ instructions in Flemish that still survive under a few of the Decameron miniatures reveal that the Master of Guillebert de Metz was also south Netherlandish. His style is unmistakable: prominent black outlines surround the bright, thick, enamel-like areas of colour in his miniatures. Black is also used in the drawing of drapery, particularly in the dark shaded areas, emphasizing the volume of the figures despite the basic flatness of the compositional style. The fall of the folds is simple and clear, however, and conforms to the Soft style. The faces often have the colour and solidity of alabaster and are shaded with olive green in a manner that strikingly recalls 14th-century Italian painting. The Master of Guillebert de Metz favoured intense shades of green and blue and liked to include large areas of silver, in armour or the sky, for example. His marginal decoration is distinguished by its colourful, broad-leaved acanthus, springing from the four corners of the border area in heavy coils, forming clusters rather than continuous tendrils. In some works, most obviously in a Book of Hours (Los Angeles, CA, Getty Mus., MS. 2), the foliage becomes disproportionate in size and extremely three-dimensional in appearance. The use of naturalistic elements gives it an illusionistic effect, while the colouring remains entirely abstract. There is also an extraordinary wealth of imaginative, humorous motifs.

Master of Guillebert de Mets: Leaf from Book of Hours of Daniel Rym and Elisabeth van Munte, parchment with ink, opaque watercolor, and gold, 167×133 mm, c. 1425-30 (Baltimore, The Walters Art Museum, Acquired by Henry Walters, after 1894, Accession Number: W.166.61V); image credit: The Walters Art Museum

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In historical terms the Master of Guillebert de Metz occupies an important transitional place between Paris illumination after 1400 and the independent Flemish tradition: to the former he owes his compositional schemes, to the latter his original use of motifs. The interchange was probably mediated by the Burgundian library. The miniatures of the Paris Decameron reproduce (exactly, in most cases) a Boccaccio illuminated in Paris around 1415 (Rome, Vatican, Bib. Apostolica, MS. Pal. lat. 1989). The Rome Decameron was once part of the library of John the Fearless and, according to a note by the bookbinder Lievin Stuart, must have been in Bruges about a century later. The Master of Guillebert de Metz also added miniatures to a Breviary illuminated for John the Fearless by a painter from the circle of the Limbourgs and by the Egerton Master (London, BL, Add. MS. 35311 and Harley MS. 2897). Other illuminations (Germany, priv. col.) also reveal the Master’s familiarity with models used by the workshop of the Boucicaut Master. The Paris Book of Hours of John the Fearless (Paris, Bib. N., MS. nouv. acq. lat. 3005) could also be an early work by the Master of Guillebert de Metz. Yet commissions from the Burgundian court form only one part of the extensive production of the Master’s workshop, which also included manuscripts for patrons in Ghent and Bruges, such as the Book of Hours for the Ghent patrician Daniel Rym (Baltimore, MD, Walters A. Mus., MS. W. 166; see figs. 1 and 2). Some of the numerous Books of Hours from this workshop were certainly produced for the open market. Among the most beautiful and richly decorated are the Book of Hours in Los Angeles already mentioned and two others, in Bologna (Bib. U., MS. 1138) and in the Vatican (Rome, Vatican Bib. Apostolica, MS. Ottobon. lat. 2919).


  • F. Winkler: ‘Studien zur Geschichte der niederländischen Miniaturmalerei des XV. und XVI. Jahrhunderts, ii: Eine flandrische Lokalschule um 1420–1460’, Jahrbuch der kunsthistorischen Sammlungen des allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses [cont. as Jb. Ksthist. Samml. Wien], vol. 32 (1915), pp. 306–24
  • F. Winkler: Die flämische Buchmalerei (Leipzig, 1925/R Amsterdam, 1978), pp. 28–30
  • Le Siècle d’or de la miniature flamande (exh. cat. by L. M. J. Delaissé, Brussels, Pal. B.-A.; Amsterdam, Rijksmus.; Paris, Bib. N.; 1959), pp. 21–7
  • M. Meiss: ‘The First Fully Illustrated Decameron’, Essays in the History of Art Presented to Rudolf Wittkower (London, 1967), pp. 56–61
  • G. Dogaer: Flemish Miniature Painting in the 15th and 16th Centuries (Amsterdam, 1987), pp. 33–7
  • Andachtsbücher des Mittelalters aus Privatbesitz (exh. cat. by J. M. Plotzek, Cologne, Schnütgen-Mus., 1987), pp. 172–5
  • C. Coppens: ‘Hidden Sex on Christmas Night: Some Unveiling Observations about Guillebert de Mets’, Flanders in a European Perspective: Manuscript Illumination around 1400 in Flanders and Abroard: Leuven, 1993, pp. 569–80
  • E. Drigsdahl: ‘The False use of Rome: Apropos a Reconstruction of Copenhagen Ms. NKS 132 4. Illuminated by the Master of Guillebert de Mets’, Flanders in a European Perspective: Manuscript Illumination around 1400 in Flanders and Abroard: Leuven, 1993, pp. 581–91
  • M. P. J. Martens: ‘The Master of Guillebert de Mets: An Illuminator Between Paris and Ghent?’, ‘Als Ich Can’: Liber Amicorum in Memory of Professor Dr. Maurits Smeyers, ed. B. Cardon, J. Van der Stock, and D. Vanwijnsberghe, Corpus of Illuminated Manuscripts, 10–11: Low Countries Series, 8–9 (Leuven, 2002) pp. 921–39

Guinigi Painter.

See §I, .

Master of the Guiron le courtois

  • Kay Sutton

(fl c. 1370).

Italian illuminator. The illustration of a fragmentary copy of the Arthurian romance Guiron le courtois (Paris, Bib. N., MS. nouv. acq. fr. 5243), after which this Master is named, is one of the most accomplished and sophisticated examples of 14th-century manuscript illumination. All but one of the scenes are restricted to the margins of the lower half of the folio, below and sometimes to either side and between the two columns of text. There are no frames, and the text areas appear as screens hanging in front of the illustrated narrative. Occasionally there is a playfulness in the depiction of represented space relative to the surface of the page that became common only in late 15th-century manuscripts: for example on folio 26v Arthur’s hand curls around and holds the edge of the text area as he peers out from behind it. The delicacy and precision of drawing are equalled by the close attention to narrative accuracy and the interaction of the protagonists. The exceptional quality of these illustrations was recognized by the Master of Latin 757, who absorbed characters and decorative details from the Guiron manuscript and reused them throughout his career. The flourished initials contain the arms and monogram of Bernabò Visconti, Lord of Milan, for whom the manuscript was presumably made. Both the flourished and the painted initials can be paralleled in a manuscript (Paris, Bib. N., MS. lat. 7880I) that Petrarch had illuminated in Milan in 1369. It was presumably in this city and around this date that this exceptional illuminator worked. Another illuminated copy of Guiron le courtois (priv. col.) is his only other known work.


  • P. Toesca: La pittura e la miniatura nella Lombardia dai più antichi monumenti alla metà del quattrocento (Milan, 1912/R Turin, 1966), pp. 162–3
  • A. Quazza: ‘Miniature lombarde intorno al 1380’, Bollettino d’arte [cont. as Arti: Rass. Bimest. A. Ant. & Mod.; Boll. A.], n. s. 4, vol. 50(1) (1965), pp. 67–72
  • Dix Siècles d’enluminure italienne (exh. cat., ed. Y. Załuska and others; Paris, Bib. N., 1984), pp. 94–5
  • K. Sutton: ‘Milanese Luxury Books: The Patronage of Bernabò Visconti’, Apollo, vol. 134 (1991), pp. 322–6

Master of the Habsburgs

(fl c. 1490–1520).

Austrian painter. He is named from a panel painting of the Adoration of the Magi (1493–1508; Vienna, Belvedere), in which the middle king and one of the retinue behind him have been given the features of the Habsburg emperors Maximilian I and Frederick III. (The right-hand edge of the picture with the young king has been cut off.) Elements derived from the Netherlands—facial types, especially those of the Virgin and infant Jesus, the faithful rendering of facts, distant landscapes in the background, and superb colouring—suggest his training there and distinguish this artist from run-of-the-mill Tyrolean painters, though he was later to some extent influenced by Marx Reichlich.

Among the works ascribed to the Master are three half-length paintings of the Virgin and Child (Vienna, Belvedere; Innsbruck, Tirol. Landesmus.; Venice, Correr) and several panels donated by noble families from North and South Tyrol with the Virgin and Saints (ex-Weiherburg, nr Innsbruck, and ex-Landeck: both Innsbruck, Tirol. Landesmus.; ex-Prösels, nr Völs: Nuremberg, Ger. Nmus.) and St Anne with SS Joachim and Joseph (Bolzano, Mus. Civ.); the half-length Virgins are in Paduan or Venetian settings, which suggests that the painter may have travelled to North Italy. He has been identified with Niklas Reiser (fl 1498–1512 in Schwaz).


  • E. Egg: ‘Zur maximilianischen Kunst in Innbruck, I. Der Habsburger Meister (Nikolaus Reiser?)’, Veröffentlichungen des Tiroler Landesmuseums Ferdinandeum [see Veröff. Mus. Ferdinandeum], vol. 46 (1966), pp. 11–35
  • E. Baum: Katalog des Museums Mittelalterlicher Österreichischer Kunst: Unteres Belvedere Wien (Vienna, 1971), pp. 146–7, 168
  • E. Egg: Gotik in Tirol, die Flügelaltäre (Innsbruck, 1985), pp. 336–9

Master of Hakendover

  • J. Steyaert

(fl Brussels, c. 1400–20).

South Netherlandish sculptor. He was one of the outstanding 15th-century Netherlandish sculptors and directed a large, influential workshop. Four major ensembles have been attributed to him: an altarpiece in St Salvator, Hakendover (Brabant; c. 1400–04); a series of archivolt prophets and historiated consoles from the Belfry portal of the Brussels Town Hall (1404–5; Brussels, Mus. Com.); a series of life-size Apostles (c. 1408–9) and a wall tabernacle (1409) in the choir of Hal, Notre-Dame-de-; and a Calvary altarpiece (c. 1410–15) in the Reinoldikirche, Dortmund (Westphalia).

A large number of wooden altarpiece fragments may also be attributed to the artist or his workshop, including a Virgin and a St Joseph from an Adoration of the Magi group (Brussels, Musées Royaux A. & Hist.); a female saint (Huppaye church, Brabant); a series of seated prophets (Ath, Mus. Athois; Frankfurt am Main, Liebieghaus; Utrecht, priv. col.); two Apostle statuettes (priv. col.); a Pentecost group (New York, Met.); and a Gethsemane group (Amsterdam, Rijksmus.).

The Hakendover Altarpiece combines the late 14th-century tradition of André Beauneveu with a greater spatial depth characteristic of the years around 1400. Over the following decade, the master’s sculpture developed increasing amplitude and realism, as can be seen in his work for the church in Hal, where his versatility and expressive range extend from the heightened intensity of the monumental and strikingly life like Apostle statues to the sharply observed genre details of the intricately carved wall tabernacle reliefs. The Master was at his best in small-scale works. This is also evident in his finest work, the Dortmund Altarpiece, which consists of a central chapel-like space with sculpture, framed by hinged shutters with painted scenes, and which introduced a type that became standard in Brabantine sculpture for over a century. The Dortmund group, which includes several Apostle statuettes of a type identical to his earlier works but interpreted in a more evolved style, ranks with the finest examples of the fully developed ‘Soft style’ in the Netherlands. His late style, represented by the Pentecost group in New York, reveals a highly personal manner of great purity and introspection, dominated by abstract drapery rhythms.


  • R. Maere: ‘Le Retable d’Haekendover’, Annales de l’Académie royale d’archéologie de Belgique [cont. as Rev. Belge Archéol. & Hist. A./Belge Tijdschr. Oudhdknde & Kstgesch.], n. s. 6, vol. 8 (1920), pp. 70–97
  • R. Hamann: ‘Spätgotische Skulpturen der Wallfahrtskirche in Hal’, Belgische Kunstdenkmäler, ed. P. Clemen, vol. 1 (Munich, 1923), pp. 214–33
  • D. Roggen: ‘Het Retabel van Hakendover’, Gentse bijdragen tot de kunstgeschiedenis en de oudheidkunde [Ghent contributions to art history and archaeology; prev. pubd as & cont. as Gent. Bijdr. Kstgesch.], vol. 1 (1934), pp. 108–21
  • I. Geisler: ‘Studien zur niederländischen Bildhauern des ausgehenden 14. und frühen 15. Jahrhunderts’, Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch, vol. 18 (1956), pp. 146–8
  • I. Achter: ‘Schrein und Flügelgemälde eines gotischen Altares, jetzt in der Kath. Pfarrkirche zu Rheinberg’, Jahrbuch der rheinischen Denkmalpflege, vol. 23 (1960), pp. 214–15
  • Flanders in the Fifteenth Century. Art and Civilization: Masterpieces of Flemish Art: Van Eyck to Bosch (exh. cat., Detroit, MI, Inst. A., 1960), pp. 231–4, cat. nos 69–70
  • A. von Euw: ‘Der Kalvarienberg im Schnütgen-Museum’, Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch, vol. 28 (1965), pp. 111–16
  • R. Marijnissen and H. Van Liefferinge: ‘Les Retables de Rheinberg et de Hakendover’, Jahrbuch der rheinischen Denkmalpflege, vol. 27 (1967), pp. 75–89
  • J. Steyaert: The Sculpture of St Martin’s in Halle and Related Netherlandish Works (diss., U. Michigan, 1974), pp. 111–48
  • Die Parler und der Schöne Stil, 1350–1400: Europäische Kunst unter den Luxemburgern (exh. cat., ed. A. Legner; Cologne, Schnütgen-Mus., 1978), vol. 1, pp. 88–90, 94–5
  • K. Morand: ‘Claus Sluter: The Early Years’, Liber Amicorum Herman Liebaers (Brussels, 1984), pp. 561–84
  • K. W. Woods: ‘Newly Discovered Work in England by the Master of Hakendover’, Oud-Holland, vol. 113(3) (1999), pp. 93–106
  • M. van Vlierden: ‘Enkele retabelfragmenten uit het atelier van de Meester van het retabel van Hakendover: Een eerste verkenning’, Constructing Wooden Images: Proceedings of the Symposium on the Organization of Labour and Working Practices of the Late Gothic Carved Altarpieces in the Low Countries: Brussels, 25–26 October 2002

Master of the Halepagen Altar.

See Dedeke, Wilm.

Master of the Hamilton Xenophon

  • Patrizia Ferretti

(fl Florence, 1470s and 1480s).

Italian illuminator and ?painter. He is named after a manuscript illuminated (after 1475) for Ferdinand I of Aragon (Berlin, Kupferstichkab., MS. Hamilton 78.C.24), a Latin translation of Xenophon’s Kyroupaideia. The Master was an artist of some note, whose prestigious patrons included the Medici and Federigo II da Montefeltro, and whose work ranged from the illustration of Books of Hours to humanistic texts. His early style is best represented by some folios of two Antiphonaries (begun in 1463; Florence, Bib. Medicea-Laurenziana, MSS Edili 148 and 150), to which Zanobi Strozzi and Francesco di Antonio del Chierico, in whose bottega he worked until 1478, also contributed. Other early collaborative projects include the frontispiece of Jerome’s Commentary on Ezechiel (Rome, Vatican, Bib. Apostolica, MS. Urb. lat. 57, fol. 2r) with Domenico Ghirlandaio and Poggio Bracciolini’s Storia di Firenze (Rome, Vatican, Bib. Apostolica, MS. Urb. lat. 491) with Francesco Rosselli. Reflections of Ghirlandaio’s work emerge again in the Bible for Federigo da Montefeltro (completed 1478; Rome, Vatican, Bib. Apostolica, MSS Urb. lat. 1–2), in which he collaborated with del Chierico; the Master’s own unmistakable style has also been recognized in some of its miniatures previously attributed to Attavante Attavanti.

The two main frontispieces of the codex of the vernacular version of Leonardo Bruni’s Historia fiorentini populi (Florence, Bib. N. Cent., Banco Rari 53) were painted in 1480. These show a combination of monumental composition and minute rendering of surface and volume, approaching Netherlandish work, while the refined technique is suggestive of goldsmiths’ work. This was followed by a series of Books of Hours, probably datable before the end of 1480. The possibility that the Master also worked as a panel painter should not be excluded: some of his illustrations show evidence of a large repertory of portraits and groups of figures, painted in particular colour harmonies that suggest experience in painting on a larger scale.


  • A. Garzelli: La Bibbia di Federico da Montefeltro (Rome, 1977), pp. 144–56
  • A. Garzelli: Miniatura fiorentina del rinascimento, 1440–1525: Un primo censimento, 2 vols (Florence, 1985), pp. 157–62
  • La Bibbia di Federico da Montefeltro: Codici Urbinati Latini 1–2, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, commentary by A. M. Piazzoni (Modena, 2005)
  • C. Quattrini: ‘Gloria ducale: La bibbia di Federico da Montefeltro’, Alumina/Italienische Ausgabe, vol. 5(17) (2007), pp. 16–25

Harris Master.

See Sánchez.

Master of the Harvard Hannibal

  • Catherine Reynolds

(fl c. 1415–40).

Illuminator, active in France. He was named by Meiss after the miniature of the Coronation of Hannibal in a French translation of Livy (Cambridge, MA, Harvard U., Houghton Lib., Richardson MS. 32, fol. 263r). Based on a design by the Boucicaut Master (Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 259, fol. 253r), it is the only miniature in this style; the others are associated with the Boucicaut and Bedford masters. The Harvard Hannibal Master worked with the Boucicaut Master in such other manuscripts as the copy of Boccaccio’s Des Cleres et Nobles Femmes (Lisbon, Fund. Gulbenkian, MS. L.A. 143) and alone, as in a Book of Hours of Paris Use (New York, Morgan Lib. & Mus., MS. M. 455). Meiss considered these to be the earlier works, datable c. 1415, of the illuminator who subsequently painted miniatures in, among other books, a Romance of Alexander (London, BL, Royal MS. 20.B.XX) and two Books of Hours of Paris Use (Oxford, Bodleian Lib., MS. Liturg. 100; and Stonyhurst, Lancs, MS. 33). Pächt and Alexander had signalled the connection between these three manuscripts, and later Plummer noted the difficulties in identifying their artist with that of the ‘earlier’ Harvard Hannibal group. It seems more plausible to consider the styles of these ‘earlier’ and ‘later’ groups as originating from two separate artists, the first influenced by the Boucicaut Master, the second more strongly influenced by the Limbourg brothers. The confusion between the two has inevitably led to confusions in attribution so that miniatures by many other artists have been ascribed to the Master of the Harvard Hannibal.

Both painters illuminated books of Paris Use and would seem to have trained and worked in Paris. With the decline of Paris as a centre for luxury goods, the later artist, that of the Alexander manuscript, seems to have moved to the south Netherlands, where he worked on the Hours of Guillebert de Lannoy (Waddesdon Manor, Bucks, NT, MS. 4), and then to have returned to France under English rule. He contributed some of the miniatures added to a Psalter (London, BL, Cotton MS. Domitian A. XVII), presumably when it was altered for presentation to Henry VI c. 1430, and illuminated a Book of Hours of Sarum Use (London, BL, Sloane MS 2468) owned by the English Umfray family by 1453. The centre for this activity may have shifted from Paris to Rouen, since his hand is also found in an Hours of Rouen Use (Baltimore, MD, Walters A. Mus., MS. W. 259), and his style is still evident in a manuscript (Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 126), mostly in the style of the Talbot Master, made for the echevins of Rouen in 1449 or later.

Both artists used clear, bright colours and shared an interest in highly decorated architectural and landscape settings. The artist of the Alexander manuscript, however, employed more complex details, and his characteristically sharp-nosed figure types and his painterly technique, apparently derived from the Bedford Master, also distinguish him from the Harvard Hannibal Master, whose tendency to an immaculate finish resembles the work of the Boucicaut Master. The careful modelling and precise elaboration of detail in the work of the former ensured the continuation of earlier Parisian illumination into the mid-15th century.


  • G. F. Warner and J. P. Gilson: Catalogue of the Western Manuscripts in the Old Royal and King’s Collections, vol. 2 (London, 1922), pp. 369–70
  • J. Porcher: Les Belles Heures de Jean de France, duc de Berry (Paris, 1953), pp. 27, 48
  • J. Porcher: Manuscrits à peintures offerts à la Bibliothèque Nationale par le comte Guy du Boisrouvray (Paris, 1961), no. 14
  • O. Pächt and J. J. G. Alexander: Illuminated Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, vol. 1 (Oxford, 1966), p. 52, no. 663
  • M. Meiss: French Painting in the Time of Jean de Berry: The Limbourgs and their Contemporaries, 2 vols (London, 1974), esp. pp. 207–8, 390–92
  • Medieval and Early Renaissance Treasures in the North West (exh. cat., ed. J. J. G. Alexander and P. Crossley; U. Manchester, Whitworth A.G., 1976), p. 24, no. 31
  • L. M. J. Delaissé, J. Marrow, and J. de Wit: The James A. de Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor: The Illuminated Manuscripts (Fribourg, 1977), pp. 65–94
  • The Last Flowering: French Painting in Manuscripts, 1420–1530, from American Collections (exh. cat. by J. Plummer and G. Clark, New York, Pierpont Morgan Lib., 1982), pp. 5–6, nos 6–7
  • R. S. Wieck: Late Medieval and Renaissance Illuminated Manuscripts, 1350–1525, in the Houghton Library (Cambridge, MA, 1983), pp. 10–15, nos 5–6
  • J. Backhouse: Books of Hours (London, 1985), p. 52
  • R. S. Wieck: The Book of Hours in Medieval Art and Life (London, 1988), pp. 184–5, nos 29–30
  • Sale cat., London, Sotheby’s: 29 Nov 1990, lot 136

Master of the Heisterbach Altar

  • Hans M. Schmidt

(fl Cologne, c. 1440–c. 1450).

German painter. His name is derived from the original location of a large altarpiece (?before 1448) with double pairs of wings, the Cistercian abbey of Heisterbach near Bonn (dissolved 1806; partly destr. 1809). The untraced central section, which may have been carved, purportedly showed Christ and Six Apostles. The pairs of wings can be clearly reconstructed. In its closed state it showed St Ursula (Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Mus.) and St Gereon (?Cassius; Munich, Alte Pin.), with their companions. The first set of wings showed 16 scenes from the Life of Christ (12, Munich, Alte Pin.; 4, Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Mus.) and the second set of wings Apostles and SS Benedict and Bernard, were shown in painted tabernacles (Munich, Alte Pin.). This inner view, with relic skulls behind tracery openings in the lowest level, evidently followed the layout of relic-bearing altarpieces. Although the elongated, soft, and somewhat spiritless figure types were still clearly orientated towards prototypes from c. 1400 to c. 1435, there are also unmistakable references to Stefan Lochner’s paintings. Also attributed to the Master are two intimate panels of the Virgin and Child (priv. col.) and an altarpiece triptych with a central Crucifixion and at the sides the Virgin with the Twelve Apostles (c. 1445; Munich, Alte Pin.; ?ex-Cologne). The Master of the Heisterbach Altar was a conservative painter, not particularly creative and probably without contact with the progressive forces of Netherlandish art. Still bound by the Cologne tradition exemplified by the Master of St Lawrence (c. 1415–c. 1430), he could not distance himself from the style of Lochner, though he can hardly have been the latter’s pupil as was formerly conjectured.


  • C. Aldenhoven: Geschichte der Kölner Malerschule (Lübeck, 1902), pp. 162–4
  • A. Stange: Deutsche Malerei der Gotik, vol. 5 (Munich, 1952), pp. 4–7
  • A. Stange: Die deutschen Tafelbilder vor Dürer, Kritisches Verzeichnis, vol. 1 (Munich, 1967), pp. 46–8, nos 108–12
  • G. Goldberg and G. Scheffler: Altdeutsche Gemälde, Köln und Westdeutschland, Gemäldekataloge, Alte Pinakothek München, vol. 24 (Munich, 1972), pp. 145–57, 244–74
  • R. Budde: Köln und seine Maler, 1300–1500 (Cologne, 1986), pp. 88–90
  • M. Wolfson: ‘Vor “Stefan Lochner”—über den Maler des Kölner Dombildes und den Meister des Heisterbacher Altares’, Stefan Lochner, Meister zu Köln—Herkunft, Werke, Wirkung (exh. cat., ed. F. G. Zehnder; Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Mus., 1993), pp. 97–107

Master of the Herpin.

See under §III, .

Master of the Hersbruck High Altar

(fl c. 1475–1500).

German painter. He is named from an altarpiece (c. 1480–90) in the parish church of Hersbruck, near Nuremberg. Although the altarpiece is now dismembered, with the sculptural shrine removed (Nuremberg, Ger. Nmus.), the panels from the two pairs of movable wings are still preserved in the church at Hersbruck. These comprise a Nativity and Death of the Virgin on the panels flanking the shrine, eight scenes from the Passion displayed on the first opening of the wings, and four by another hand on the exterior, showing scenes from the Life of the Virgin. The Passion scenes, by which the Master is best known, are crowded with figures, activated by gesture and twisted postures, complicated movements of line in the drapery and contours, and abrupt shifts from foreground to distance. On the basis of the figures, compositions, and colouring, the Master is associated with Hans Pleydenwurff and Michael Wolgemut of Nuremberg. Certain characterizations and proportions of figures also suggest that he was acquainted with Bavarian painting. Repeated but inconclusive efforts have been made to identify him with Wolfgang Katzheimer, whose activity in Bamberg is documented from 1465 to 1508. Even among writers who acknowledge the separate existence of this anonymous master, there is little unanimity about all the works that should be assigned specifically to him, except the Hersbruck high altar itself.


  • H. Thode: Die Malerschule von Nürnberg im 14. und 15. Jahrhundert in ihrer Entwicklung bis auf Dürer (Frankfurt am Main, 1891), pp. 144–6
  • F. Dörnhöffer: ‘Beiträge zur Geschichte der älteren Nürnberger Malerei’, Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft [prev. pubd as Jb. Kstwiss. [1868–1873]; merged with Jb. Kstwiss. [1923–30] & Z. Bild. Kst to form Z. Kstgesch.], vol. 29 (1906), pp. 441–67
  • N. Bonsels: ‘Wolfgang Katzheimer von Bamberg’, Studien zur deutschen Kunstgeschichte, vol. 306 (1936), pp. 57–68
  • A. Stange: Deutsche Malerei der Gotik, vol. 9 (Munich, 1958), pp. 94–9
  • W. Schwemmer: Die Kunstdenkmäler von Bayern: Mittelfranken, x. Landkreis Hersbruck (Munich, 1959), pp. 129–32
  • F. Anzelewsky: ‘Eine spätmittelalterliche Malerwerkstatt: Studien über die Malerfamilie Katzheimer in Bamberg’, Zeitschrift des deutschen Vereins für Kunstwissenschaft, vol. 19 (1965), pp. 142–6
  • A. Stange with P. Strieder and H. Härtle: Kritisches Verzeichnis der deutschen Tafelbilder vor Dürer, vol. 3, ed. N. Lieb (Munich, 1978), pp. 115–17

Master of the Historia Friderici et Maximiliani [Master of Pulkau; Master of the Historia]

  • Charles Talbot

(fl c. 1508–25).

German or Austrian draughtsman and painter. He executed 46 drawings in a manuscript of the above title and has been attributed with a varying body of other drawings and paintings. All these works possess stylistic traits associated with the Danube school, although stylistic variations among them allow for much conjecture about the unity of their authorship.

The Historia Friderici et Maximiliani (c. 1515; Vienna, Haus-, Hof- & Staatsarchiv, MS. Böhm no. 24) is a life history of Emperor Maximilian I, who commissioned the work, and of his father, Emperor Frederick III. Composed by the humanist Joseph Grünpeck and illustrated with unsigned drawings, the manuscript was intended for presentation to Maximilian’s grandson, the future Charles V. The latest date it refers to is 1508, but most commentators have concluded for other reasons that it should be dated c. 1515. While the drawings closely resemble Albrecht Altdorfer’s draughtsmanship of c. 1508, they diverge from the developments of his manner over the following decade.

The body of work now assembled under the Master’s name includes other paintings and drawings that are neither Altdorfer’s nor any other identified artist’s. Voss (1907) attributed three other drawings to him; two (Berlin, Kupferstichkab.; Vienna, Albertina) are now generally assigned to Altdorfer and one, the Beheading of St Catherine (Vienna, Akad. Bild. Kst.; Winzinger no. 134), remains considered as the Master’s. Voss named him Master MZ (separately from the engraver known by that monogram) after initials on this last drawing, which he did not recognize as a later addition. Dodgson (1924) and Halm (1930) attributed the Historia drawings to Altdorfer, but when a number of clearly non-Altdorfian panels came to be attributed to the artist (Buchner, 1938; Benesch and Auer, 1957; and Stange, 1964), a separate identity was required.

Now seen as a painter, the artist also became known as the Master of Pulkau (Oettinger, 1939), from an altarpiece (c. 1520) in the Heilig-Blut-Kirche, Pulkau, Lower Austria. This Austrian attribution divided opinions as to whether the artist was primarily located in Regensburg, with Altdorfer, or in Vienna. Taking both locales into account, Dworschak (1965) proposed that the Master was Niclas Preu (fl 1502–33), a contemporary Augsburg artist of otherwise uncertain production who is documented as at both Regensburg and Vienna. Most recently Mielke (see 1988 exh. cat.) has argued more forcefully than anyone previously that the Historia drawings and those most closely related to them are indeed by Altdorfer. He thus rejects the attribution of the Pulkau panels to the same hand and gives reasons why a date of 1508 is valid for the Historia manuscript.


  • Thieme–Becker ‘Master of Pulkau’
  • H. Voss: Der Ursprung des Donaustils: Ein Stück Entwicklungsgeschichte deutscher Malerei (Leipzig, 1907), pp. 195–7
  • C. Dodgson: [review of H. Tietze: Deutscher Meister: Albrecht Altdorfer (Leipzig, 1924)], Burl. Mag., vol. 45 (1924), pp. 93–4
  • P. Halm: ‘Die Landschaftszeichnungen des Wolfgang Huber’, Münchner Jahrbuch der bildenden Kunst, n. s. 1, vol. 7 (1930), pp. 65–6
  • Albrecht Altdorfer und sein Kreis (exh. cat. by E. Buchner, Munich, 1938), pp. 147–9
  • K. Oettinger: ‘Die Malereien des Pulkauer Altars’, Pantheon: Internationale Zeitschrift für Kunst [cont. as Bruckmanns Pantheon], vol. 23 (1939), pp. 161–70
  • F. Winzinger: Albrecht Altdorfer: Zeichnungen (Munich, 1952), pp. 54–6, 101–4
  • O. Benesch and E. M. Auer: Die Historia Friderici et Maximiliani (Berlin, 1957) [complete illus. of Historia drgs and other attributed works]
  • A. Stange: Malerei der Donauschule (Munich, 1964), pp. 111–15, figs 42, 204–18
  • F. Dworschak: Die Kunst der Donauschule, 1490–1540 (exh. cat., ed. O. Wurzel; St Florian, Stiftssamml.; Linz, Schlossmus.; 1965), pp. 96–104 [identified as Niclas Preu]
  • Albrecht Altdorfer: Zeichnungen, Deckfarbenmalerei, Druckgraphik (exh. cat. by H. Mielke, Berlin, Kupferstichkab., 1988), pp. 325–7 [identified as Albrecht Altdorfer; ten colour illus. from Historia]

Master of the Holy Blood

  • Christine van Mulders

(fl ?Bruges, c. 1530).

[Maître du Saint-Sang] South Netherlandish painter. Name given by Hulin de Loo (1902 exh. cat.) to the anonymous painter of the triptych of the Lamentation (Bruges, Mus. Heilige Bloed) that belonged to the Bruges Brotherhood of the Holy Blood. Friedländer attributed 30 works to the Master, whom he characterized as a competent but unassuming practitioner, active in Bruges c. 1530. The paintings also show strong Antwerp influence, but the Lamentation triptych and that of the Glorification of the Virgin (Bruges, St Jacobskerk), both of which belong to the group of attributed works, have always been in Bruges, thus supporting the idea that the studio of the Master was there. The paintings also show affinities with the works of Gerard David, Albert Cornelis (c. 1500–32), Ambrosius Benson, and Jan Provoost, who were also active in Bruges. According to Friedländer, the absence of donor portraits in the triptychs indicates that they were not made on commission but were produced for the open market, presumably for export.

The oeuvre attributed to the Master was also strongly influenced by the work of Quinten Metsys and shares characteristics with that of other Antwerp painters such as the Master of Frankfurt. This could be explained by an apprenticeship in Antwerp before the Master’s period of activity in Bruges. The paintings often combine compositions influenced by Hans Memling with figure types that stiffly rework the style of Metsys. Their design and execution are frequently rough, with angular rhythms and inaccurate anatomy. The derivative nature of this artist’s oeuvre makes his artistic personality difficult to assess. Moreover, the lack of stylistic homogeneity in the works attributed to him by Friedländer suggests that they are the work of more than one hand. There is a small core of ten paintings, including the two triptychs in Bruges, that are distinguished by a relatively more refined treatment. Other examples include the Annunciation (Madrid, Prado), the Virgin with Three Angels (Antwerp, Kon. Mus. S. Kst.), the Virgin and Child (New York, Met.), the Crucifixion (Greenville, SC, Bob Jones U. Gal. Sacred A.), two wing panels with St Catherine and St Barbara (Cleveland, OH, Mus. A.), and three versions of Lucretia (Munich, Alte Pin.; Brussels, Mus. A. Anc.; and Vienna, Gemäldegal. Akad. Bild. Kst.).


  • W. H. J. Weale: ‘Gérard David’, Le Beffroi, vol. 1 (1863), pp. 223–33
  • Exposition des tableaux flamands des XIVe, XVe et XVIe siècles (exh. cat. by G. Hulin de Loo, Bruges, Groeningemus., 1902), pp. 33, 39, nos 126, 155; review by M. J. Friedländer in Repert. Kstwiss., vol. 26 (1903), p. 149
  • M. J. Friedländer: Die altniederländische Malerei (Berlin, 1924–37); Eng. trans. as Early Netherlandish Painting (Leiden, 1967–76), vol. 9, pp. 95–8, 118–20
  • E. Panofsky: Early Netherlandish Painting: Its Origins and Character, vol. 1 (Cambridge, 1953), p. 266
  • G. Marlier: ‘Une Montée au Calvaire du Maître du Saint-Sang’, Les Beaux-Arts (Oct 1956), p. 13
  • V. Bruncel: ‘Une Lucrèce du Maître du Saint-Sang’, Les Beaux-Arts (Oct 1957), p. 8
  • Anonieme vlaamse primitieven: Zuidnederlandse meesters met noodnamen van de 15de en het begin van de 16de eeuw (exh. cat., Bruges, Groeningemus., 1969), pp. 74–87, 223–4
  • C. Van Den Bergen-Pantens: ‘Une Oeuvre inédite du Maître du Saint-Sang’, Handelingen van het Genootschap voor geschiedenis gesticht onder de benaming ‘Société d’émulation’ te Brugge/Annales de la Société d’émulation de Bruges, vol. 113 (1976), pp. 229–49
  • D. De Vos: Catalogus schilderijen 15de en 16de eeuw, Bruges, Groeningemus. cat. (Bruges, 1979), pp. 144–6

Master of the Holy Kinship

  • Hans M. Schmidt

(fl Cologne, c. 1475–c. 1510).

German painter. He is named after an altarpiece depicting the Holy Kinship (c. 1500–03; Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Mus., ex-Dominican Kloster St Achatius). In this assembly of the relatives of the Virgin, a central group with St Anne and the Infant Jesus is flanked by SS Barbara and Catherine, the latter depicted as the Mystic Bride of Christ. On the inner sides of the wings, in front of a broad landscape, are (left) SS Roch and Nikasius with the donor, Nikasius Hackeney, and (right) SS Gudula and Elizabeth with his wife Christina. Here the Master’s art is at its zenith. Solid bourgeois comfort and steadiness characterize the figures. The composition of the triptych is, as with most of his work, unassuming. However, it is pervaded by a sensitivity to colour values, shades of red being dominant.

One of the last Late Gothic artists in Cologne, the Master produced panel and glass-painting, the most extensive oeuvre surviving from his epoch in Cologne. This was with the participation of a large workshop, so that attribution and evaluation are fraught with problems. Rode’s proposed identification of the Master with the Cologne painter Lambert von Luytge (Liège; d 1508)—through stylistic comparison with his stained glass in the northern nave aisle of Cologne Cathedral (1507–8)—suggests that the origin of his artistic language might lie in the area of the River Meuse.

Through comparison with the Holy Kinship, the Master’s earliest works are deemed to include a winged altarpiece of the Seven Joys of Mary (c. 1475; Cologne, Benedictine monastery of the Maccabees). It closely follows Stefan Lochner’s altarpiece (1447; Darmstadt, Hess. Landesmus.; ex-Cologne, Katharinenkirche), which illustrates the Cologne base of his style, as does the Lamentation (c. 1480; Munich, Alte Pin.), leading back to the Master of the Life of the Virgin. His later work, open to various influences, bears traces of contact with the art of his contemporary, the Master of the St Bartholomew Altar. In the strongly symmetrical votive panel of Graf Gumprecht von Neuenahr and his Family (before 1484; Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Mus.), the conception and style point to an accommodation with Netherlanders such as Rogier van der Weyden and Hans Memling. The work of the Lower Rhenish-Westphalian painter Derick Baegert was apparently the model for his crowded, agitated Calvary (c. 1490; Brussels, Mus. Royaux A. & Hist.; ex-parish church, Richterich, nr Aachen), with the Adoration of the Magi and Resurrection (Valkenburg, nr Maastricht, Jesuitenkolleg) as wing pictures, the former recalling the work of Hugo van der Goes. Indeed, in these wing panels it is difficult to reconcile the sense of landscape and pictorial space with what is known of the Master’s art. Perhaps the subsequently independent Master of the Aachen Altar was involved.

Also attributed to the Master of the Holy Kinship are a Mass of St Gregory (1486; Utrecht, Catharijneconvent), a two-piece epitaph (Nuremberg, Ger. Nmus.) for Jakob Udemann of Erkelenz (d 1492), the St Sebastian altarpiece (1493–4; Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Mus.), a sort of group portrait showing the master’s ability as a portrait painter, and an altarpiece with the Circumcision (1503–7; Munich, Alte Pin.; ex-St Kolumba, Cologne). A small winged altarpiece with SS Barbara and Dorothy in the central picture (before 1510; Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Mus.) is thought to have been one of his last works. His workshop was a reservoir of various talents, perhaps including the Master of St Severin and the Master of the Aachen Altar.


  • A. Stange: Deutsche Malerei der Gotik, vol. 5 (Munich, 1952), pp. 73–90
  • A. Stange: Die deutschen Tafelbilder vor Dürer, Kritisches Verzeichnis, vol. 1 (Munich, 1967), pp. 90–96, nos. 262–89
  • H. Rode: ‘Die Namen der Meister der hl. Sippe und von St. Severin, eine Hypothese, zugleich ein Beitrag zu dem Glasmalereizyklus im nördlichen Seitenschiff des Kölner Doms’, Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch, vol. 31 (1969), pp. 249–54
  • G. Goldberg and G. Scheffler: Altdeutsche Gemälde, Köln und Westdeutschland, Gemäldekataloge, Alte Pinakothek München, vol. 14 (Munich, 1972), pp. 411–61
  • U. Westfehling: Die Messe Gregors des Grossen (exh. cat., Cologne, Schnütgen-Mus., 1982), pp. 46–59
  • R. Budde: Köln und seine Maler, 1300–1500 (Cologne, 1986), pp. 19, 119–27, 249–51, nos 83–5
  • F. G. Zehnder: Katolog der Altkölner Malerei, vol. 11 of Katalog des Wallraf-Richartz-Museums (Cologne, 1990), pp. 271–315
  • D. G. Scillia: ‘Portrait of a Woman, Attributed to the Master of the Holy Kinship the Younger’, Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art, vol. 79(8) (Oct 1992), pp. 278–87
  • U. Baetz: ‘St Antonius’, Colonia Romanica, vol. 10 (1995), pp. 63–7
  • T. Teplitzsky: ‘Der “Altar der Heiligen Sippe” im Wallraf-Richartz-Museum: “Überlegungen zu Datierung, Figurenprogramm und Stiftungsanlass’, Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch, vol. 57 (1996), pp. 231–47
  • U. Nürenberger: ‘Bilder im Blickpunkt: Zeitenwende: Zwei Kölner Maler um 1500: 17. März bix 18. Juni 2000’, Museums-Journal, vol. 14(2) (April 2000), pp. 76–7

Master of Hoogstraten

  • Carl Van de Velde

(fl Antwerp, c. 1505).

Netherlandish painter. He is named after a series of seven panels of the Sorrows of the Virgin (Antwerp, Kon. Mus. S. Kst.), which were in the church of St Catherine, Hoogstraten, until 1825, and which were possibly painted for it c. 1505. Volskaja identified the artist as one of Memling’s pupils at Bruges, Passcier van der Mersch (dc. 1500), although Gerard David seems a closer source of inspiration for the Master, and this in turn might support the suggestions by Hoogewerff and Châtelet that he was of Dutch origin. Other works by the Master include the Adoration of the Magi formerly in the Johnson Collection (Philadelphia, PA, Mus. A.), which has similar figures with pale faces, long fingers and noses shown in incorrect profile.


  • M. J. Friedländer: Die altniederländische Malerei (Berlin, 1924–37); Eng. trans. as Early Netherlandish Painting (Leiden, 1967–76), vol. 7, pp. 51–3, 72–4, 90
  • L. Philippen and J. Ernalsteen: Rond het Hoogstraatsche altaarstuck van het Antwerpsch Museum [Round the Hoogstraten altarpieces of the Antwerp Museum] (Brecht, 1928)
  • G. J. Hoogewerff: De Noord-Nederlandsche schilderkunst, vol. 1 (The Hague, 1936), pp. 517–18; vol. 2 (1937), p. 582
  • S. Leurs: ‘Meester van Hoogstraten: Christus in de tempel, en Sint-Germanuskerk te Tienen’, Eigen Schoon Braband, vol. 37 (1954), pp. 54–7
  • H. Comstock: ‘Panels from a Flemish Altar Painting’, Connoisseur, vol. 139 (1957), pp. 203–4
  • V. L. Volskaja: ‘A Picture of a Netherlandish Artist of the 15th Century in the A. S. Pushkin Museum’, Festschrift Lazarev (Moscow, 1960), pp. 232–42
  • A. Châtelet: Les Primitifs hollandais (Paris and Fribourg, 1980); Eng. trans as Early Dutch Painting (Oxford and New York, 1981)
  • C. Scaillièrez: ‘Un Christ en Croix du Maître de Hoogstraeten du Musée des beaux-arts d’Angers’, Revue du Louvre et des musées de France, vol. 36 (1986), pp. 192–6

Master of the Horloge de Sapience.

See under §I, .

Master of the Hortulus Animae

  • Bodo Brinkmann

(fl after 1510).

Name devised by Winkler to cover the supposed artist of a group of south Netherlandish illuminations that has subsequently been attributed among various artists. The central manuscript of the group was a German translation by Sebastian Brandt of the Hortulus animae (Vienna, Österreich. Nbib., Cod. 2706) copied from the editions printed in Strasbourg in 1510. The codex is richly decorated with 36 full-page pictures, 29 smaller miniatures, 29 historiated borders and 2 historiated initials. Winkler tentatively identified the Master of the Hortulus Animae as Gerard Horenbout. This hypothesis was demolished when Georges Hulin de Loo discovered documented works by Horenbout. After this the miniatures of the Vienna Hortulus animae were attributed (even by Winkler himself) to Simon Bening. The Older Prayerbook of Maximilian (Vienna, Österreich. Nbib., Cod. 1907), which was included in Winkler’s original group, became the central manuscript of a group defined by Hulin de Loo as the work of the Master of the Older Prayerbook of Maximilian. Both the attribution of the Hortulus animae to Simon Bening and the partial replacement of the Master of the Hortulus Animae by the Master of the Older Prayerbook of Maximilian are generally accepted.


  • F. Dörnhöffer: Seelengärtlein: Hortulus Animae: Cod. Bibl. Pal. Vindobon, 2706, 4 vols (Frankfurt am Main, 1907–11) [facs. edn]
  • F. Winkler: Die flämische Buchmalerei (Leipzig, 1925/R Amsterdam, 1978), pp. 118–25
  • F. Winkler: ‘Neuentdeckte Altniederländer, i: Sanders Bening’, Pantheon: Internationale Zeitschrift für Kunst, vol. 15 (1942), pp. 261–71
  • W. Hilger: Das ältere Gebetbuch Maximilians I (Graz, 1973), pp. 45–54 [facs. edn]
  • Flämische Buchmalerei: Handschriftenschätze aus dem Burgunderreich (exh. cat. by D. Thoss, Vienna, Österreich. Nbib., 1987), pp. 104–6, 119–21

Master of the Hours of Isabella of Castile.

See under Tomasino da Vimercate.

Housebook Master [Master of the Amsterdam Cabinet]

(fl Middle Rhineland, c. 1470–1500).

German printmaker, draughtsman, and painter. The most important works attributed to him are two groups, from which he derives his two alternative names: the so-called Medieval Housebook (Swabia, Waldburg-Wolfegg priv. col., see 1985 exh. cat., no. 117), an illustrated manuscript with 40 pen-and-ink drawings of profane themes, and a group of 89 drypoints, the majority preserved in the print room of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. To this corpus many varied works of art have been added, including woodcuts, paintings, miniatures, sculptures, and stained-glass windows. Over the past century debate concerning the Master’s oeuvre as well as his identification has earned him the accolade of being the most argued-about German artist of the 15th century.

1. Identity.

The Master has been identified both with obscure artists, such as Martin Hess, Nicolaus Schit (fl c. 1500), Hans Hirtz, Heinrich Mang, Wolfgang Peurer, and Nikolaus Nievergalt von Worms (c. 1450–1511), and with more famous names, such as Bartholomaus Zeitblom, Hans Holbein the elder, Matthias Grünewald, and Wilhelm Pleydenwurff. None of these tentative identifications, however, is still accepted. The most likely candidate seems to be Erhard Reuwich, a painter from Utrecht, but the differences between Reuwich’s documented oeuvre and that of the Master are too numerous to make the proposed identification entirely convincing. All that can be deduced from the Master’s work is that he worked in the Middle Rhine area, including Mainz and Heidelberg, and that he must have received commissions from noblemen and church authorities. Rather than attempting to identify him with a known artist, late 20th-century scholars have concentrated on describing his artistic personality as evidenced in the surviving work.

2. Work.
(i) The drypoints.

Apart from traditional religious themes, the 89 drypoints, the attribution of which has never been seriously doubted, represent worldly subjects such as amorous couples, hunting scenes, noblemen, peasants, wild men, etc—images that reflect with surprising directness a late medieval courtly culture of which little has been preserved. These prints form the best starting-point for a reconstruction of the Master’s work and development. Altogether only 122 impressions of the drypoints are known. The Amsterdam group of 80 prints, 61 of which are unique impressions, comes from the 18th-century collection of Pieter Cornelis, Baron van Leyden (1717–88); their earlier provenance is unknown. The free manner of drawing and the spontaneous character of the prints—as well as the limited number of impressions—can be partly explained by the technique of Drypoint, in which the lines are drawn directly on to the metal plate with a sharp needle (leaving a ridge of metal, or burr, that initially retains the ink but quickly wears away). After a hesitant beginning, the artist succeeded in applying this technique, which was not otherwise used in the 15th century, with such precision and subtlety that the result differs little from the few silverpoint drawings also attributed to him (see §(iii) below).

None of the drypoints is dated, but they reveal a clear artistic development, from c. 1470 to 1490. The earliest prints, such as Samson and the Lion (Lehrs, 1893–4, no. 5), datable c. 1470–75, are small in format, the drawing is hesitant and the composition simple. Yet these early works already display the Master’s highly individual details in pose, dress and so on, features especially evident in the small prints of Infants Playing (l 59–61) and the Dog Scratching Himself (l 78).

In the work of his mature middle phase he developed a greater sense of space, refinement and delicacy, which was combined with a more assured technique; this is nowhere more apparent than in prints such as Solomon’s Idolatry (l 7), Aristotle and Phyllis (l 54), and the Amorous Couple (l 75), sheets that can be dated between 1480 and 1488. During this period the Master also produced several prints showing a wealthy and carefree courtly dreamworld, inhabited by slim, elegantly dressed youths. These seem to reflect an outmoded chivalric culture still fashionable at certain German courts. That the Master had contacts specifically with the royal court at Heidelberg is suggested by a drawing plausibly attributed to him in a manuscript translation of Die Kinder von Limburg (Heidelberg, Ubib., Cod. pal. germ. 87); the drawing, dated 1480, shows the moment at which the manuscript itself was presented to the Count Palatine Philip the Sincere (reg 1476–1508) by Johan van Soest, his court poet. Whether the drypoints were produced at this same court remains uncertain.

The transience of such a courtly life is depicted in a highly probing manner in the Young Man and Death (l 581), one of the finest pieces from this period, which, like others, was drawn with a very fine drypoint needle. In sharp contrast to the idealized picture of courtly life is the negative, satirical manner in which peasants, tramps, and other lowlife subjects are represented, especially in the prints with coats of arms (l 79–89). Themes such as ‘Unequal Love’ and the ‘World turned upside down’ are depicted for the first time in the Master’s prints.

An unusual aspect of the religious prints is the emphasis on intimate details from the life of the Virgin and Christ. This approach played an important role in late medieval devotional practice and mysticism, linking the worshipper to the sacred event. In the touching and original Holy Family by the Rosebush (l 28), a crouching, half-hidden Joseph amuses the Child by rolling apples towards him. This print, generally thought to have inspired Dürer’s engraving of the Holy Family with the Dragonfly (c. 1495; b. 44), is one of the Master’s late works, c. 1490. Executed with less virtuosity and refinement than the earlier works, these show a sketchy and more painterly use of the drypoint.

(ii) The Housebook.

This is a leather-bound volume, with 64 folios of fine parchment in 9 gatherings; it has been kept in Schloss Wolfegg in southern Germany since the 17th century. Besides pen drawings, some coloured, there are several miniatures. The title given to the manuscript in the 19th century is somewhat misleading, since the book contains little information about household matters—only one gathering deals with domestic remedies—but much more about military matters and mining, both accompanied by instructive technical drawings. These sections seem to have been intended for (and were probably written by) a munitions master. Preceding these technical sections is a group of drawings of the planets and their children (fols 11r–41r) and another of courtly scenes (fols 18v–24r), each contained within one gathering. These sections were not originally from the same manuscript, and each of the three groups of illustrations has a characteristic style. Thus it is debated whether they are by a single artist.

The scenes of courtly life are partly coloured pen drawings that cover both sides of the page opening; in subject-matter and dress they correspond to the Master’s secular prints, but the draughtsmanship is rather stereotyped and different from that of the drypoints and the drawings of the planets. Although the latter are largely based on earlier blockbook illustrations, the pen drawings represent the figures in an original and often humorous way. Mercury (fol. 16r), for instance, includes a schoolmaster flogging a pupil’s bare bottom and a painter being embraced by his mistress while he paints the Virgin and St Catherine. Even within this group of drawings there are stylistic differences: the best ones, Mars, Sol, and Luna, seem closely related to the Master’s mature drypoints both in figure type and manner of drawing; the others are more akin to his early prints.

(iii) Other attributions.
  • J. P. Filedt Kok

Only a limited number of other works of art can be attributed to the Master with any certainty. These include two silverpoint drawings of an Amorous Couple (both c. 1485; Berlin, Kupferstichkab.; Leipzig, Mus. Bild. Kst.), which are similar in style to the prints with courtly subjects as well as the drawings of Sol, Luna, and Mars. A looser style is evident in two pen drawings (both Berlin, Kupferstichkab.): the Striding Man (c. 1490) and the historically important, but not entirely undisputed sheet with Maximilian I at a Peace Banquet in Bruges, 16 May 1488. Besides the dedication page of 1480 in Die Kinder von Limburg, the miniatures with the Four Evangelists in a Gospel Book (c. 1475–80; Cleveland, OH, Mus. A.) are also attributed to the Master.

Since the end of the 19th century most experts have assumed that the artist who made the drypoints and worked on the Housebook was primarily a painter; however, there has been little agreement concerning which paintings should be ascribed to him. The least doubtful seems to be the so-called Speyer Passion altarpiece, of which three panels, the central Crucifixion, the Ecce homo and Christ before Caiaphus, are preserved together in Freiburg im Breisgau (Augustinmus.); three others are dispersed: the Resurrection (Frankfurt am Main, Städel. Kstinst. & Städt. Gal.), Christ Washing the Feet of the Disciples (Berlin, Gemäldegal.), and the Last Supper (Berlin, Bodemus.). Not only are the figure types and the lively manner of painting reminiscent of the Master’s mature work of c. 1480–85, but the detailed underdrawing revealed by infra-red reflectography shows close parallels with the crosshatching seen in the prints.

The Resurrection, in particular, shows the painter at his best, with a lively manner of drawing and a rich and powerful colour scheme. Less original are the nine panels of the so-called Mainz Life of the Virgin (one dated 1505; Mainz, Landesmus.), which includes images related to late prints by the Master. Probably only the best of the panels, such as the Nativity and the Adoration of the Magi, are autograph, the rest being workshop products, possibly executed after the Master’s death. Less doubtful is the authenticity of the famous Amorous Couple (c. 1484; Gotha, Schloss Friedenstein); both its style and subject-matter—an ideal picture of ‘courtly’ love—fit in well with the Master’s work.

The Master was a major influence in the region of the Middle Rhine. Besides paintings there are many works in stained glass that reflect his subjects and style, although it remains uncertain whether he actually produced stained glass or merely provided the designs. The stained-glass panel of the Virgin and Child on the Crescent Moon (c. 1485–90; New York, Cloisters) is very closely related to the style of his prints, while A Patrician’s Tournament (c. 1480; Germany, priv. col., see 1985 exh. cat., no. 135), a window possibly from the house of the Alten-Limpurg Society in Frankfurt, is strongly reminiscent of the courtly scenes in the Housebook.


  • M. Lehrs: Der Meister des Amsterdamer Kabinetts (Berlin, 1893–4) [l]
  • H. T. Bossert and W. F. Storck: Das mittelalterliche Hausbuch nach dem Originale im Besitze des Fürsten von Waldburg-Wolfegg-Waldsee (Leipzig, 1912)
  • M. Lehrs: Geschichte und kritischer Katalog des deutschen, niederländischen und franzözischen Kupferstichs im XV. Jahrhundert, 9 vols (Vienna, 1908–34/R Nedeln, 1969), vol. 8, pp. 1–164
  • E. Graf zu Solms-Laubach: ‘Der Hausbuch-Meister’, Städel-Jahrbuch, vol. 9 (1935–6), pp. 13–93
  • J. Graf Waldburg-Wolfegg: Das mittelalterliche Hausbuch (Munich, 1957)
  • A. Stange: Der Hausbuchmeister (Baden-Baden and Strasbourg, 1958)
  • J. Campbell Hutchison: The Hausbuchmeister: Sources of his Style and Iconography (diss., U. WI, 1964)
  • J. Campbell Hutchison: The Master of the Housebook (New York, 1972) [complete bibliog.]
  • J. P. Filedt Kok: ‘The Prints of the Master of the Amsterdam Cabinet’, Apollo, vol. 117 (1983), pp. 427–36
  • Livelier than Life: The Master of the Amsterdam Cabinet or the Housebook Master, ca. 1470–1500 (exh. cat. by J. P. Filedt Kok and others, Amsterdam, Rijksmus., 1985)
  • D. Hess: Meister um das mittelalterliche Hausbuch: Studien zur Hausbuchmeisterfrage (Mainz, 1994)

Master of the Hutz Portrait.

See under Merklin [Märklin; Merckell], Konrad.


  • Alessandro Conti

(fl c. 1330–47).

Italian illuminator. Erbach von Fürstenau first distinguished this artist from Niccolò di Giacomo da Bologna, calling him the Pseudo-Niccolò. The name ‘Illustratore’ was proposed by Longhi, but hypotheses as to his identity (which have included Andrea da Bologna) have proved difficult to substantiate.

Around 1330 the Illustratore collaborated with an artist working in an archaic style on a copy of Dante’s Divine Comedy (Florence, Bib. Riccardiana, MS. 1005; Milan, Bib. N. Braidense, MS. AG.XII). The initials and small miniatures in the Florence volume, the one executed by the Illustratore, have stocky, expressive figures of great narrative force, which distinguish the illustrations as some of the most lively examples made for Dante’s works. The Infortiatum of Justinian (Cesena, Bib. Malatestiana, MS. S.IV.2) and the Accursius, Glossa in codicem (Rome, Vatican, Bib. Apostolica, MS. Vat. lat. 1430) are also from this early period, while the Decretals of Gregory IX (Rome, Vatican, Bib. Apostolica, MS. Vat. lat. 1389) and the Liber sextus decretatium (Markt St Florian, Stiftsbib., MS. III.7), decorated for Bishop Albert von Passau (d 1342), date from c. 1335.

The Illustratore’s narrative style is closely linked to that of Giotto, but it shows the impact of the strongly expressive manner of contemporary Bolognese painting. The page decoration is sombre (in the tradition of Bolognese illumination of the 1320s), ornamented by small gold bosses, sometimes with ‘tails’ attached. The illuminations at the head of the texts either have frames with some architectural detail or figures that gesture to others in the margins, enlivening the whole page. In the earliest works, the background is decorated with gold foliage on blue. Later, wide bands of decoration on a blue background are inserted in the margins between the text and the gloss, an arrangement also used by the Master of 1328, with whom the Illustratore collaborated. At the same time the foliage and tailed gold bosses become less common. The traditional decoration of the initials with small male and female heads, in both text and gloss, is usually the work of assistants.

The Illustratore’s narrative skill is seen in the Decretals of Gratian (Rome, Vatican, Bib. Apostolica, MS. Vat. lat. 1366), executed c. 1335–40 in collaboration with the Master of 1328 (see §II below) and the so-called Master of the Paris Gratian, named after another copy of this work (Paris, Bib. N., MS. Nouv. acq. lat. 2508). Other manuscripts dating from the same period, the Institutions (Paris, Bib. N., MS. lat. 14343) and the Accursius, Glossa in Codicem (Rome, Vatican, Bib. Apostolica, MS. Vat. lat. 1409), also show the participation of the latter. Other texts revealing the collaboration of artists working in the style of the Illustratore are often of poorer quality (e.g. a copy of Gratian’s Decretals, Munich, Bayer. Staatsbib., Clm. 23552). The Illustratore’s collaboration with artists with individual styles gradually decreased, however, and manuscript decoration became organized within a single workshop, with the assistants copying the style of the Master.

The Constitutions of Clement V (1343; Padua, Bib. Capitolare, MS. A25) contain a large miniature decorated by the Illustratore with Scenes from the Life of St Catherine of Alexandria; its companion volume, the Decretals of Boniface VIII (Padua, Bib. Capitolare, MS. A24), has a page illuminated with Scenes from the Life of St Stephen, King of Hungary. Both manuscripts were probably decorated in Padua, and their style suggests renewed contact with the work of Giotto.

The exact date at which the Illustratore ceased to be active as an illuminator, once he had handed his workshop over to the Master of 1346, named after the Statutes of the Drapers’ Guild of that year (Bologna, Archv Stato., MS. min. 12), is difficult to establish. Some illuminations, such as those in two copies of Gratian’s Decretals (Rome, Vatican, Bib. Apostolica, MS. Urb. lat. 161, fol. 125v and Geneva, Bib. Pub. & U., MS. lat. 60, fol. 127r), demonstrate his continued presence, and he may have become involved in the administration of the workshop. During this phase, his workshop returned to motifs he had earlier abandoned, such as the tailed gold bosses.

The choice of texts illustrated reflects the changes in patronage after the repeal of the University’s privileges in 1337. Examples are the Missal of Cardinal Bertrand de Deux (d 1355; Rome, Vatican, Bib. Apostolica, MS. Cap. 63B); a medical treatise by Galvano da Levanto (Rome, Vatican, Bib. Apostolica, MS. Vat. lat. 2463); the Compendium moralis philosophiae of Luca Manelli (c. 1346–8; Paris, Bib. N., MS. lat. 6467), dedicated to Bruzio Visconti; and the Metamorphoses of Apuleius (Rome, Vatican, Bib. Apostolica, MS. Vat. lat. 2194). These last two works show stylistic affinities between the Illustratore’s workshop under the Master of 1346 and the early career of Niccolò di Giacomo da Bologna. A late work of sustained quality from the workshop is a copy of St Jerome, which belonged to Bishop Giovanni di Andrea (1346–7; Bologna, Coll. Spagna, MS. 273). There are no further traces of the workshop’s activity after the Black Death of 1348.


  • A. Erbach von Fürstenau: ‘La miniatura bolognese: Studi su Niccolò di Giacomo’, L’Arte, vol. 14 (1911), pp. 1–12
  • Guida alla mostra della pittura bolognese del trecento (exh. cat. by R. Longhi, Bologna, Pin. N., 1950), pp. 11–24 (15); repr. in Opere complete di Roberto Longhi, vol. 6 (Florence, 1973), pp. 155–87 (159–60)
  • F. Flores d’Arcais: ‘Le miniature del Riccardiano 1005 e del Braidense AG.XII.2’, Storia dell’arte, vol. 33 (1978), pp. 105–14
  • A. Conti: La miniatura bolognese: Scuole e botteghe (Bologna, 1981), pp. 87–96
  • Dix siècles d’enluminure italienne (exh. cat. by F. Avril, Paris, Bib. N., 1984), pp. 79–84
  • J. De-Veer Langezaal: ‘A Cutting Illuminated by the Illustratore (Ms. 13) and Bolognese Miniature Painting of the Middle of the Fourteenth Century’, J. Paul Getty Museum Journal, vol. 20 (1992), pp. 121–38

Master of the Imhoff Altar

  • Charles Talbot

(fl c. 1410–20).

German painter. He is named after an altarpiece (c. 1418–22) commissioned by Konrad Imhoff (d 1449) for the Lorenzkirche in Nuremberg, where the central panel with the Coronation of the Virgin and wings with Apostles are still preserved, though partially disassembled. The donor appears with the first three of his four wives on the inner wings, flanking the Coronation. Originally on the back of the altarpiece was the Man of Sorrows with the Virgin and St John (Nuremberg, Ger. Nmus.), now generally regarded as the work of the Master of the Bamberg Altar. The work of the Imhoff painter has been subsumed (Stange, 1958, 1978) under the name of the Master of the Deichsler Altarpiece, known from the panels of two surviving wings (Berlin, Gemäldegal.). Earlier attributions of both the Imhoff Altar and Deichsler Altarpiece to