Master of Berry's Cleres Femmes

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(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 master of the Coronation of the virgin), 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), 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.

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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