Master of the Harvard Hannibal

(fl. c. 1415—1440)

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(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.


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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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