Harley 4376, f. 271

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The Echevinage Master (fl. in Rouen, c. 1455-1485) is named after his patrons, the aldermen of Rouen, who assembled one of the first public libraries in France. One of their early commissions was a copy of Jean de Courcy’s chronicle, La Bouquechardière, around 1460 (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fr. 2685; the Echevinage Master has thus also been called the Bouquechardière Master). Following the end of the English occupation of Normandy in 1449 during the Hundred Years War, there was a high demand for texts connected with history and law, such as this universal chronicle. Eleven other copies were illuminated by the Echevinage Master and his workshop including this manuscript. This artist is also called the Master of the Geneva Latini after a manuscript of Brunetto Latini’s Trésor in Geneva (Bibliothèque publique et universitaire, fr. 160). He has been mistakenly identified as Jacobus ten Eyken who is documented only as a scribe. The work of the Echevinage Master is easily recognizable by his pale stiff figures with large round eyes emphasized by grey shadows. Flat tapestries often cover walls in his miniatures, and his strong colours highlighted with gold hatch strokes create a cool atmosphere. The Echevinage Master was the most successful Norman illuminator of the third quarter of the fifteenth century, and his compositions were used by the next generation of Rouen artists, such as Robert Boyvin. The latter is known from surviving accounts of the redecoration of the palace of the Rouen archbishops at Gaillon under Georges d’Amboise. In 1503, d’Amboise ordered from Boyvin a copy of Seneca’s Epistolae, which can be identified with an extant manuscript in Paris (Bibliothèque nationale de France, lat. 8551).  
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