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.
Credit Line: Text courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program (CC BY 4.0).