Manuscript Illumination with Scenes from the Life of Saint John the Baptist
Master of James IV of Scotland (probably Gerard Horenbout) (South Netherlandish, active ca. 1485–1530)
Made in Bruges, Netherlands
Tempera, ink, and shell gold on parchment
6 1/2 x 4 5/8in. (16.5 x 11.7cm)
Mat: 14 × 11 in. (35.6 × 27.9 cm)
Manuscripts and Illuminations
Bequest of George D. Pratt, 1935
Not on view
This sophisticated image from a book of devotional prayers depicts John the Baptist seated in a landscape with his attribute, the lamb, and pointing to an open book. Scenes from the saint’s life surround the central image, beginning counterclockwise at upper left: the Baptism of Jesus, John the Baptist preaching, his imprisonment, the executioner placing his head on a platter, Herod’s feast, and the burning of John’s bones. The painter of this miniature created manuscripts for European royalty, including James IV, king of Scotland, and Queen Isabella of Spain. He may be identified as Gerard Horenbout, who became a master in the painters’ guild of Ghent in 1487.
George D. Pratt, Glen Cove, NY (until 1935)
Tokyo National Museum. "Treasured Masterpieces of the Metropolitan Museum of Art," August 10, 1972–October 1, 1972.
Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art. "Treasured Masterpieces of the Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 8, 1972–November 26, 1972.
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Priest, Alan. "Loans from the Collection of George D. Pratt." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, o.s., 35, no. 12 (December 1940). pp. 237-238, ill. p. 238.
Kren, Thomas, ed. Renaissance Painting in Manuscripts: Treasures from The British Library. 1st ed. New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1983. pp. 63-68.
Barnet, Peter, and Atsuyuki Nakahara, ed. Earth, Sea, Sky: Nature in Western Art – Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Tokyo: Yomiuri Shimbun, 2012. no. 15, pp. 64, 212-213.
Stein, Wendy A. How to Read Medieval Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2016. no. 14, pp. 66–67.
Artist: Master of James IV of Scotland (probably Gerard Horenbout) (South Netherlandish, active ca. 1485–1530)Date: ca. 1515–25Medium: Tempera, ink, and shell gold on parchmentAccession: 48.149.15On view in:Not on view