Master of the Dresden Prayerbook

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(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.


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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.