Master of the Berry Apocalypse

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Master of the Berry Apocalypse : Bible Illustration, ca.1410

As a master of Berry Apocalypse ( Engl. Master of the Apocalypse Berry ) is the French book painter called the 1410 the text of an apocalypse has painted. According to a handwritten entry, the work, with 85 half-page or full-page pictures, was in the possession of Jean de Valois, Duke of Berry , until his death in 1416. The ownership entry gave the artist of the pictures, who was not known by name, his emergency name. The French text of the Apocalypse is given with a French commentary based on Berengaudus ; in some cases the master's illustrations are based on the text of this commentary from the 9th century, as in the case of the illustration of the Seven Deadly Sins. The Berry Apocalypse is now owned by the New York Pierpont Morgan Library & Museum (MS. M. 133).

The hand of the master of the Berry Apocalypse can be recognized in a few other works , including secular works such as a manuscript of the Histoire Ancienne, a translation of ancient world history from a Christian perspective by Paulus Orosius , which contains some images created by the master (British Library , Egerton 912).

A Bible Historiale with 78 miniatures in gold leaf frames from the hand of the master of the Berry Apocalypse is privately owned. The French manuscript on parchment was probably created in Paris around 1405/1410 and, in addition to the biblical texts, contains a text by Griseldi by Giovanni Boccaccio ; this Bible is one of the few works in which the religious content is assigned a purely literary text.

The typical style of the master of the Berry Apocalypse differs from that of his Parisian contemporaries through a quick, more sketchy execution and skillful use of colder and pale colors. Some of the pictures in his work are small sketches in brown, which are only partially painted and accentuated with black and white paint. The sky is often only indicated by a few blue lines in pictures and his simple landscape depictions do not show any figures or cities in the background.

The master of the Berry Apocalypse is a contemporary of the Limburg brothers , who painted out well-known manuscripts such as the Duke of Berry's Book of Hours .


  • Millard Meiss, Sharon Off Dunlap Smith, Elizabeth Home Beatson: French painting in the time of Jean de Berry. The Limbourgs and their contemporaries. 2 volumes (Textbd. Tafelbd.). G. Braziller, New York NY 1974, ISBN 0-8076-0734-7 .
  • Berry, Jean de France Duc de. In: Severin Corsten, Günther Pflug, Friedrich Adolf Schmidt-Künsemüller (ed.): Lexicon of the entire book system. LGB. Volume 1: A-book. 2nd, completely revised and expanded edition. Hiersemann, Stuttgart 1987, ISBN 3-7772-8721-0 , pp. 323-325.
  • The Morgan Morgan Library & Museum: Apocalypse Then: Medieval Illuminations from the Morgan. Press Preview: Thursday, March 22, 2007, 9 am until noon (press release on the exhibition).
  • Nora Koldehoff, Stefan Koldehoff: Who did van Gogh give his ear to? Everything you don't know about art. Eichborn, Frankfurt Am Main 2007, ISBN 978-3-8218-5804-3 , p. 16.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Berengaudus: Expositio super septem visiones libri Apocalypsis
  2. TEFAF Maastricht shows the best of the best; Press information on the antiques fair TEFAF, Maastricht March 7, 2006