LIMBOURG brothers
(b. 1370-80, Nijmegen, d. 1416, Nijmegen)

The Belles Heures of Jean, Duke of Berry

Manuscript (54.1.1a,b), 239 x 168 mm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

In 1404, Jean, the Duke of Berry called into his service the three Limbourg brothers, Pol, Herman, and Jean. Their first major project was the Belles Heures (also known as the Heures d'Ailly), today in New York. This book is especially interesting for its unusual cycles of illustrations of the legends of Sts Jerome, Gregory the Great, Bruno, Paul, and Anthony.

The handsome matins Annunciation in the book, shown here, is distinguished by the ornate borders of flowery acanthus rinceaux, which were clearly inspired by Italian models.