Europe 1300 - 1800
Herman, Paul, and Jean de Limbourg, The Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry
Met curator Timothy B. Husband on prodigy in Herman, Paul, and Jean de Limbourg’s The Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry, 1405–1408/1409.
Completed by late 1408 or early 1409, probably in Paris, "The Belles Heures," a private devotional book, was the first of two sumptuous manuscripts commissioned by the duke of Berry from the Limbourg brothers, Pol, Jean, and Herman. It is the only manuscript that they completed in its entirety. The other manuscript, "The Très Riches Heures," was left incomplete at the brothers' deaths in 1416. The richly illustrated text is amplified by unusual cycles reflecting the duke's personal interests. Using a luminous palette, the artists blended an intimate Northern vision of nature with Italianate modes of figural articulation. The keen interest in the natural world and the naturalistic means of representing it, so striking in ninety-four full-page and fifty-four column illuminations, foreshadow the work of Jan van Eyck and the ensuing generations of outstanding fifteenth-century painters in the South Netherlands.
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- Would the brothers do the calligraphy and the illustrations or would they only do the drawings ?(7 votes)
- This paragraph, from the Met Museum blog called "The Art of Illumination," answers your question:
"While the Limbourg brothers painted all the illuminations (and one border, that for the Annunciation on Folio 30r) in the Belles Heures themselves, other artists were also involved in its overall creation. The sumptuous borders of every page were executed by anonymous artists; still other craftsmen were employed in making the parchment, writing the text, ruling the lines, and binding the book. (See the Pen and Parchment exhibition blog to learn more about the creation of medieval manuscripts.)"(6 votes)
- What medium was used to illustrate this manuscript? Oil? Tempera?(4 votes)
- Were there many picture books like this one made then? Why is this one so special?(1 vote)