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Master of the Della Rovere Missals


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(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). 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.

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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.



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