Leaf from a Book of Hours: Decorated Initial D[eus] with Foliated Border (Opening of Terce: Hours of the Holy Spirit)

Leaf from a Book of Hours: Decorated Initial D[eus] with Foliated Border (Opening of Terce: Hours of the Holy Spirit)


Master of Guillebert de Mets and Workshop


Ink, tempera and gold on vellum

Each leaf: 12.7 x 8.4 cm (5 x 3 5/16 in.)

The Jeanne Miles Blackburn Collection 2005.205



The Master of Guillebert de Mets (probably Jean de Pestivien) is named after the scribe who recorded his name in an illuminated copy of the Decameron (a collection of stories by Giovanni Boccaccio, written 1351–53) made for Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy, and for which the artist contributed several miniatures. The Master of Guillebert de Mets was active from about 1410 to 1445. So far there is no proof that allows us to follow his career or to know precisely where he worked. Some evidence, however, hints that he was of Flemish origin. The artist painted in an easily recognizable style. His figures have prominent heads with clearly delineated eyes and small mouths, slender torsos with thin, spindly legs, and long, finely worked fingers. Many of his miniatures, such as the Crucifixion and Last Judgment here, show that he often favored mosaic backgrounds of delicately worked checkered patterns.

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