MASTER of the Duke of Bedford
(active 1405-1435 in Paris)

Bedford Book of Hours

Manuscript (Additional Ms. 18850), 260 x 180 mm (folio size)
British Library, London

Most of the 38 large format miniatures were painted by the Bedford Master and his workshop. Many of the physiognomies of people presented in small or larger format are early masterpieces of portraiture. The Book of Hours presents the reader with brilliant works of Netherlandish realism that anticipate the work of Pieter Bruegel the Elder in the 16th century.

The building of the Tower of Babel is shown on folio 17v in a familiar setting with contemporary costumes. Several details, particularly the camel on the right, add an exotic, oriental note.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.