Master of the Lübeck Bible

  • about 1485-about 1520
  • Illuminator
  • Flemish

The Master of the Lübeck Bible is named for the celebrated series of woodcuts designed for a Bible printed at Lübeck, Germany, in 1494. The artist has long been known as a contributor to at least two other early printed books, but the style of those woodcuts has only recently been linked to certain manuscript illuminations.

Although relatively few illuminations can be ascribed to the Master of the Lübeck Bible, these are easily seen to share the frenetic sense of movement and strange impression of distortion that permeate the artist's woodcuts. Figures frequently seem to have unnaturally elongated faces, while the artist's spaces are often dramatically foreshortened or oddly telescoped. It is not clear where the artist lived, but his close association with the Ghent-based artist the Master of James IV of Scotland may indicate that the Master of the Lübeck Bible was active in that city.