In the 1470s, a Picard nobleman called Jean de Carpentin secured the services of one of the most innovative illuminators working in Bruges. Known as the Master of the Dresden Prayer Book after one of his other masterpieces, this artist enriched the pages of Carpentin's book of hours with a rich programme of imagery, including 22 full-page miniatures, 42 historiated initials and 64 boldly coloured borders.
Erudite, affecting, and often playful, the Dresden Master's illuminations transformed Jean de Carpentin's hours into one of the most remarkable books of its day. Yet the Carpentin Hours is virtually unknown to scholarship and the wider public, having always remained in private hands. The present study offers a detailed assessment of its contents, purpose and provenance, and its abundant illustrations reveal the Carpentin Hours to be the finest demonstration of the Dresden Master's wit, invention and technical virtuosity.