The Hours of Philip the Bold


Artists' Techniques

The Annunciation painted by the Master of the Bible of Jean de Sy displays extensive underdrawing in ink. It not only structures the main elements of the composition, but also defines shaded areas with density and texture that shows through the thinly applied pigments.

The underdrawing in some of the miniatures painted by the Master of the Grandes Heures bears such a close resemblance to that of the Annunciation that one wonders whether the Jean de Sy Master might have sketched them, leaving the painting to his associate. The Master of the Grandes Heures was himself a talented draughtsman; his accomplished sketch of the Adoration of the Magi on fol. 102r favourably compares with the shakier underdrawing of the small miniature on the same subject sketched and painted by one of his assistant on fol. 128v.

Simple line drawing, which contributes little to the simulation of volume, is the Master of the Throne of Mercy’s most distinctive quality. The Master of the Coronation Book of Charles V, on the other hand, sketched his composition in a minimal, dry and linear style.