Oct 25, 2010

Gospel Book with Evangelist Portraits: Decorated Initial

Gospel Book with Evangelist Portraits: Decorated Initial

c. 1480

Part of a set. See all set records

miniatures by

Hausbuch Master


Ink, tempera, and gold on vellum; original blind stamped leather binding

Codex: 23.7 x 18.4 x 5.4 cm (9 5/16 x 7 1/4 x 2 1/8 in.)

Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1952.465.172.a



The four gospels are preceded by a full-page portrait miniature of the appropriate evangelist. Per tradition, they are represented as contemporary scribes surrounded by all the tools of their trade— ink pots, quill pens, and penknives. The anonymous illuminator of these miniatures, called the Hausbuch Master, is known primarily for an album of lively drawings as well as some 90 copper engravings now in Amsterdam. He was also apparently a panel painter of some distinction. The skillful pen work, tracery, and vine scrolls, as well as the large initials, are the work of other artists.The binding is original.

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