Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Garden of Love and Earthly Delights - Master of the Housebook (active c1470-1500)

Master of the Housebook. 1465-1500 The Lovers; seated on a bench underneath an arch of foliage. A pot of blooming flowers shares the bench. 

The Master of the Housebook  is also known as:  Master of the Amsterdam Cabinet, Master of Hausbuch, Meister des Hausbuches. He was an engraver & painter whose work is found in the last quarter of the 15C, working in Southern Germany.  The Master of the Housebook is most renowned for his work as an engraver & is believed to be the 1st artist to use the drypoint, a printmaking technique. The Master of the Housebook's  91 prints are extremely rare, with sixty surviving in one impression (copy) only, & none in more than 5 - there are a total of 124 impressions, 80 in Amsterdam. 

The Master of the Housebook's work is very well drawn & lively. British art historian Arthur Mayger Hind (1880-1957) noted of his style that "he is an artist with a freedom of draughtsmanship quite remarkable at this epoch. If his manner of engraving has something of the irregularity of an amateur, his power of expression is vigorous & masterly."
Master of the Housebook (active c1470-1500) The lovers; the couple sits on a bank under an arch of winding foliage; the lady to the left holds a little dog. A pot with flowers sits to the left.