The Hours of Isabella Stuart

The Giac Master


The Giac Master was an itinerant professional who worked in the Auvergne, Paris, Champagne and Anjou from c. 1400 until c. 1440.

He is named after a Book of Hours (Toronto, Royal Ontario Museum, MS 997.158.14) made c. 1410 for Jean de Pechin, wife of Louis de Giac who was at various times in the service of the French King, the Dauphin, and the Dukes of Berry and Burgundy. A prolific artist, the Giac Master reused workshop patterns in order to complete the lengthy pictorial cycles of multi-volume historical texts. The Hours of Isabella Stuart preserve many of his characteristic motifs, notably the plump, beady-eyed faces, the gold or silver cloudes drifting across the sky, and the green and black tiled floors devoid of perspective. He designed the manuscript’s ambitious decorative programme and painted much of it himself, but he also received help from two talented colleagues and several assistants.