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Pavel Brodský – Martina Šumová

K podílu iluminátorů v Bibli Petra Zmrzlíka ze Svojšína

The three-volume Bible of Mint Master Petr Zmrzlík of Svojšín, dated to 1411–1414, is rich in painted decorations, but up to now in research they have not been evaluated very highly. These opinions do not sufficiently take into account the fact that it is the hand of multiple illuminators of varying skills. The decorations in the Bible have been newly analysed by Markéta Pražáková, who concludes that the decorations are of better quality and are the work of a larger number of illuminators than researchers previously believed. Pražáková argues that it is possible to identify four distinct creative styles in the bible’s illumination work: that of the Master of the Prophecy of Joel, the Master of the Prophecy of Malachi, the Master of the Book of Esther, and the Master of the Book of Psalms, as well as work by other workshop painters. Pražáková’s analysis provides a good starting point for a reappraisal of the decorations in the Zmrzlík’s Bible. It can be agreed that the main illuminator was the Master of the Book of Psalms, and an approach similar to his is evident in the work of another distinct illuminator, who created the decorations for most of the Epistles of Paul. It is also possible to identify within the workshop of the Master of the Book of Psalms contributions to the decorations by the Master of the Prague Exameron and, in particular, contributions by the Master of the Bible of Zikmund of Domažlice. The latter’s work, however, varies so greatly that sometimes it is not certain whether the given illumination was created by him personally or by his workshop. The work attributed to the Master of the Prophecy of Malachi has indeed been correctly identified as his, but not the work attributed to the painter named as the Master of the Prophecy of Joel, as the miniatures that have been attributed to this hypothetical illuminator are so varied that it is impossible that they are the work of one hand. Three of them can be attributed to the Master of the Mandeville Travels, while the remainding are the work of the Master of the Antwerp Bible.

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