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The Art of Illumination: The Limbourg Brothers and the "Belles Heures" of Jean de France, Duc de Berry

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One of the most lavishly illustrated codices of the Middle Ages, the Belles Heures (1405–1408/9) is the only manuscript executed in its entirety by the famed Limbourg brothers. Commissioned by its magisterial patron, Jean de France, duc de Berry, this richly illuminated Book of Hours, intended for private devotion and now housed in The Cloisters at the Metropolitan Museum, One of the most lavishly illustrated codices of the Middle Ages, the Belles Heures (1405–1408/9) is the only manuscript executed in its entirety by the famed Limbourg brothers. Commissioned by its magisterial patron, Jean de France, duc de Berry, this richly illuminated Book of Hours, intended for private devotion and now housed in The Cloisters at the Metropolitan Museum, counted among the duke’s large collection of prized possessions. The luminous scenes depicting the legends of the saints, the Hours of the Virgin, and the like, many with elaborately designed borders, exemplify the transcendent splendor of the Limbourg brothers’ talents.


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One of the most lavishly illustrated codices of the Middle Ages, the Belles Heures (1405–1408/9) is the only manuscript executed in its entirety by the famed Limbourg brothers. Commissioned by its magisterial patron, Jean de France, duc de Berry, this richly illuminated Book of Hours, intended for private devotion and now housed in The Cloisters at the Metropolitan Museum, One of the most lavishly illustrated codices of the Middle Ages, the Belles Heures (1405–1408/9) is the only manuscript executed in its entirety by the famed Limbourg brothers. Commissioned by its magisterial patron, Jean de France, duc de Berry, this richly illuminated Book of Hours, intended for private devotion and now housed in The Cloisters at the Metropolitan Museum, counted among the duke’s large collection of prized possessions. The luminous scenes depicting the legends of the saints, the Hours of the Virgin, and the like, many with elaborately designed borders, exemplify the transcendent splendor of the Limbourg brothers’ talents.

38 review for The Art of Illumination: The Limbourg Brothers and the "Belles Heures" of Jean de France, Duc de Berry

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Kopel

    Wow, Wow, Wow, I got this in the Getty Center bookshop for $15. It is the kind of book I would keep on the coffee table, but not actually read, but I have been reading it, almost halfway through, and it is dazzling. Hard work though since it weighs 4.5 lbs.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Robert Gallasch

    Great technical review of the art of illumination, instead of just a survey of illuminations. Discusses manuscript illumination in late 14th to early 15th century France as both art, craft and business. Very worthwhile read!

  3. 5 out of 5

    cienfuegos

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ken

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dunkthebiscuit Kendrick

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mal Booth

  7. 4 out of 5

    Peter Ferst

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bunnza Broyles

  9. 5 out of 5

    Allison

  10. 5 out of 5

    Claudia Tulifero

  11. 5 out of 5

    Irene

  12. 4 out of 5

    Brett Folkman

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mary Warnement

  14. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

  15. 4 out of 5

    ck

  16. 4 out of 5

    Leigh Craven

  17. 5 out of 5

    John Forman

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Rosenfeld

  19. 4 out of 5

    Naomi

  20. 5 out of 5

    Arthistorynewsandviews

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Huston

  22. 4 out of 5

    Miss Construed

  23. 5 out of 5

    Madeline

  24. 5 out of 5

    Liz Gray

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Harrison-jewell

  26. 4 out of 5

    Michele

  27. 5 out of 5

    Chris Lockhart

  28. 4 out of 5

    Elodie

  29. 5 out of 5

    Melody Vandyke

  30. 5 out of 5

    John Dumas

  31. 4 out of 5

    Jim

  32. 4 out of 5

    Aliénor

  33. 5 out of 5

    shawn simpson

  34. 4 out of 5

    Lee Maverick

  35. 4 out of 5

    Eadweard

  36. 4 out of 5

    John Anthony

  37. 4 out of 5

    Baskintm

  38. 4 out of 5

    kiki

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