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Book of Hours
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Master of Guillebert de Mets, illuminator; Master of the Lee Hours, illuminator
Flemish, probably Ghent, about 1450 - 1455
Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold paint, and ink on parchment bound between pasteboard covered with calf
7 5/8 x 5 1/2 in.
MS. 2

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This profusely illuminated Flemish book of hours offers an unusual reversal of what is expected. While borders are customarily visually subordinate to miniatures, the lush foliage in the borders of this manuscript's most outstanding pages captures the reader's attention and gives unity to the double-page spreads.

The illuminations are the work of several artists, the most talented of whom is known as the Master of Guillebert de Mets. His miniatures are painted on single leaves, which were inserted into the manuscript. This fact suggests that he did not work in close collaboration with the scribes who produced the text. The style of his paintings reveals that the artist had a background in the Parisian International style, yet his bold handling of borders with their rich vegetation and energetically twisting banderoles is unique.

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