Otto van Moerdrecht, Master of

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(fl c. 1420–30). North Netherlandish illuminator. He provided two miniatures in a copy of the Postilla in Prophetas (1423–5; Utrecht, Bib. Rijksuniv., MS. 252) by Nicolas de Lyre, commissioned by Otto van Moerdrecht while he was a novice at the Nieuwlicht Charterhouse near Utrecht and donated to the monastery after his profession. One miniature, about a third of the height of the text, shows the author seated in a landscape against an ornamented background (fol. 44r); on the facing verso (fol. 43v), a full-page representation of a six-winged angel, with inscriptions on its wings identifying them with aspects of a godly life, is described in a caption as ‘Moralisacio seraph’. The painter of this very unusual picture, derived from a text by Alanus de Insulis, has been named the ‘Master of the Seraph’ but is more often called the Master of Otto van Moerdrecht. It was once thought that the scribe and illuminator of this manuscript were monks at Nieuwlicht and that the painter might have been Otto van Moerdrecht himself. Everything known of the charterhouse, however, argues against the presence there of an established scriptorium. It is now generally assumed that the Master of Otto van Moerdrecht worked in an urban workshop in Utrecht.


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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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