MASTER of Bellaert
(active 1483-1487 in Haarlem)

Animals from De proprietatibus rerum

British Library, London

In the late fifteenth century, with the rapid development in the illustrated printed book came increasing demands for more deluxe editions with leading painters participating more and more in the designing of the woodcuts. In Haarlem between 1483 and 1487 Master of Bellaert (Jacobus Bellaert), a printmaker and painter, published some of the finest Netherlandish books of the century. The book 'De proprietatibus rerum' (On the Properties of Things) by Bartholomaeus Anglicus was one of the deluxe editions, which Bellaert produced for some special occasion. It was issued on Christmas Eve, 1485. In the nature book Bellaert had an opportunity to exploit his interest in landscape and nature, as shown the present illustration from the frontispiece of Book 18 of De proprietatibus rerum.