Master of the Dresden Prayer Book

  • active about 1480 - 1515
  • Illuminator
  • Flemish

The anonymous illuminator known as the Master of the Dresden Prayer Book was a painter of tremendous originality. Named after a book of hours now in Dresden, he worked in Bruges from around 1465 until about 1515. At a time when artists favored elaborate costumes and contrived postures, this illuminator gave his figures a sweeter, more innocent quality. He had an uncanny ability to locate the humor or irony in a familiar story, and he showed particular sympathy for coarse or simple characters. The novelty of his colors--including bright oranges, teals, burgundies, rich blues, and sometimes black--often arranged in surprising combinations, further attests to the refreshing originality of his art.