First Master of the Bible historiale of Jean de Berry

  • active about 1390 - about 1400
  • Illuminator
  • French

Little is known about the anonymous illuminator now known as the First Master of the Bible historiale of Jean de Berry. His name derives from a famous manuscript of the Historical Bible, a popular French translation of the Bible with added commentary, in which he painted a number of miniatures. The manuscript, now located in a library in Paris, was once owned by Jean, duc de Berry, the most famous book collector of his time. Since many of the manuscripts containing the First Master's work, including the Historical Bible, appear to have been produced in Paris, the artist probably worked there during the first decade of the 1400s. His works ranged from large secular texts to edifying religious treatises written in the vernacular.