Leaf from a Book of Hours
Masters of Otto van Moerdrecht; illuminators
leaf (manuscript); sub-category
book of hours; type of text
circa 1427 circa 1436
fifteenth century, second quarter
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, 168 x 118 mm, miniature 110 x 68 mm.
DECORATION: Full-page framed miniature with three-sided floral and spraywork border on plain parchment ground: Entombment with Joseph of Arimathea, Nichodemus, St John and two women.
Southern Netherlands, production, region
Sotheby’s, London, 18 June 1991, lot 33; purchased by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum, 1991.
Sotheby’s; previous owner
If this miniature was ever integrated into a manuscript, it would have been a verso probably facing the beginning of Vespers in the Hours of the Cross. It may have been used as an independent devotional image, since a French prayer was added in an early sixteenth-century hand on the reverse. The leaf was illuminated by one of the Masters of Otto van Moerdrecht whose style originated in Utrecht, but who were active from the 1420s until the 1460s in Utrecht, Holland, Brabant and the cities along the river Ijssel, and in Flanders during the second quarter of 15th century (van Bergen 2007). The borders of his miniatures preserve one of the round stamps (b) commonly used by members of this group working in Bruges. Such artists’ marks were required after 1427 when the Bruges magistrates forbade stationers to purchase loose miniatures as stock for commercially produced manuscripts from artists not registered with the Bruges Guild (Farquhar 1980). Other manuscripts in Cambridge containing work by the Masters of Otto van Moerdrecht are Gonville and Caius, MS 241/127, Trinity, MS B.11.18 and Cambridge, UL, MS Dd.15.25. The six miniatures by one of the Masters of Otto van Moerdrecht and all but four of the miniatures in the Trinity volume contain the red ‘b’ stamp seen here.
The Splendours of Flanders. 1993 - 1993
Organiser: The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (Cambs.), UK
Venue: The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (Cambs.)
Catalogue number: 34
Arnould, A.. Massing, Jean Michel. 1993. The Splendours of Flanders.Cambridge (Cambs.):
cat. no. 34
van Bergen, S.. 2007. De Meesters van Otto van Moerdrecht.
p. 250 and passim
van Bergen, S.. Cardon, B.. Van der Stock, J.. Vanwijnsberghe, D. 2002. De Moerdrecht-meesters Noord en Zuid. Het vangelistarium in het Koninklijk Huisarchief te Den Haag en het Vlaamse oeuvre van de Meesters van Otto van Moerdrecht.Leuven:
Source Title: 'Als Ich Can’: Liber Amicorum in Memory of Professor Dr Maurits Smeyers() : 1357-1376
pp. 1367, 1369, nn. 26, 31
Object Number: MS 27-1991
(Manuscripts and Printed Books)
(record id: 170641; input: 2010-01-25; modified: 2012-08-23)