Master of the Housebook


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Master of the Housebook

(Meister des Hausbuchs), fl. 1475–1500, German graphic artist. The master is named for a series of vigorous and sophisticated drawings of everyday life found in the Hausbuch at Castle Wolfegg. Many of his engravings are in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. His work is thought to have influenced Bosch, Bruegel, and Dürer.
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In classical times Mercury was thought of as an unageing youth and, indeed, the stepson of Juno, one of the competing goddesses, but the astrologers of the Middle Ages saw him as an elderly sage who, in his planetary guise, presided over artists and scholars; which is how Cranach's contemporary, the Master of the Housebook, depicted him.
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