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

Jean, duke of Berry, was one of the greatest patrons of the Middle Ages, and he commissioned this exquisite book of hours from the Limbourg brothers, who worked exclusively for him. The book has 94 full-page miniatures, and many smaller ones, including calendar vignettes and border illuminations.

This scene shows St Paul the Hermit watching a young Christian tempted by a lewd woman, an episode that so horrified Paul he abandoned the world and fled to the desert.