Master of Older Prayerbook of Maximilian

(fl. c. 1480—1515)

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(fl c. 1480–1515). South Netherlandish illuminator. This name was given to the illuminator, of the Ghent–bruges school, who painted the personal prayerbook of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor from 1508 (Vienna, Österreich. Nbib., Cod. 1907). The book is identifiable as Maximilian's through the coat of arms in the miniature depicting him in prayer before St Sebastian (fol. 61v). In addition there are prayers relating to a ruler and a calendar entry (in his hand) of the name day of his father Frederick III. The manuscript can be dated precisely since this form of his arms was applicable only from 1486, and in 1487 unrest broke out in Flanders, which led to Maximilian's imprisonment. The manuscript is known as the Older Prayerbook of Maximilian to distinguish it from the prayerbook printed by Johann Schönsperger (Augsburg, 1513) on the Emperor's instructions. A strikingly large number of texts are common to both books. The printed text, however, represents a complete Book of Hours, whereas Maximilian's manuscript lacks the essential components of the Office of the Virgin and the Office of the Dead and contains instead a long series of Latin and Flemish prayers for the most diverse occasions. It is uncertain therefore whether the manuscript as it survives (88 fols) is a fragment or represents Maximilian's specific choice of texts.


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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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