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The Rohan Master: A Book of Hours

by Marcel Thomas, Rohan Master (Author)

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This powerful and breathtakingly beautiful Book of Hours was designed in the fifteenth century by one of the greatest masters of expressionism in France at the time, and executed by him (together with members of his workshop) for a royal patron. A relatively unknown masterpiece, it emerged from artistic obscurity in 1904 to widespread acclaim and critical appreciation. As Millard Meiss points out in his Introduction: "The Rohan Master cared less about what people do than what they feel. . . . Whereas his great predecessors, the Boucicaut Master and the Limbourgs, excelled in the description of novel aspects of the natural world, he explored the realm of human feeling." And, in his explorations, the Rohan Master disclosed a way of viewing and visually depicting reality (replete with familiar biblical figures, saints, angels, devils) and the emotions of simple men and women - suffering, elation, fear, melancholy, and hope - in a manner that is both original and powerfully moving. From the first folio of this remarkable and often startling manuscript to the final plate, the entire range of human emotions is compassionately but uncompromisingly explored. Named after the Rohan family, whose arms appear in this manuscript, this distinctive artist earned himself a place as one of the greatest manuscript illuminators of the early Renaissance.… (more)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marcel Thomasprimary authorall editionscalculated
Rohan MasterAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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This powerful and breathtakingly beautiful Book of Hours was designed in the fifteenth century by one of the greatest masters of expressionism in France at the time, and executed by him (together with members of his workshop) for a royal patron. A relatively unknown masterpiece, it emerged from artistic obscurity in 1904 to widespread acclaim and critical appreciation. As Millard Meiss points out in his Introduction: "The Rohan Master cared less about what people do than what they feel. . . . Whereas his great predecessors, the Boucicaut Master and the Limbourgs, excelled in the description of novel aspects of the natural world, he explored the realm of human feeling." And, in his explorations, the Rohan Master disclosed a way of viewing and visually depicting reality (replete with familiar biblical figures, saints, angels, devils) and the emotions of simple men and women - suffering, elation, fear, melancholy, and hope - in a manner that is both original and powerfully moving. From the first folio of this remarkable and often startling manuscript to the final plate, the entire range of human emotions is compassionately but uncompromisingly explored. Named after the Rohan family, whose arms appear in this manuscript, this distinctive artist earned himself a place as one of the greatest manuscript illuminators of the early Renaissance.

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Paris Bibliothèque Nationale ms. Latin 9471
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