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Bute Master  

active: about 1260 - 1290
illuminator
Flemish; French

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The anonymous artist known as the Bute Master was named for his work on a psalter formerly in the collection of the Marquess of Bute, Scotland, and now in the Getty Museum. Though the Bute Master often collaborated with other illuminators, as was common in the 1200s, he was solely responsible for all 190 historiated initials in the Bute Psalter. A prolific artist who worked in the prosperous cities in the border region between France and Flanders, the Bute Master is known for his distinctive historiated initials and decorative border extensions. These border extensions often served as supports for lively marginal figures engaged in a variety of activities.

The Bute Master did his most inventive, finely finished work in a number of religious service books and devotional manuscripts, including the Bute Psalter. He also illuminated secular texts, mostly written in French, working in a simplified, linear style using thick black outlines.

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David Playing Harp / Bute Master
David Playing Harp

French, about 1270

Initial E: David / Bute Master
Initial E: David

French, about 1270

David's Theft / Bute Master
David's Theft

French, about 1270