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

Les Petites Heurs du Duc Jean de Berry

Manuscript (Ms. lat. 18014), 212 x 145 mm
Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris

The very small manuscript, Les Petites Heurs du Duc Jean de Berry by its modern title, is one of the surviving six books from the great collection of Duc de Berry (1340-1416), one of the four sons of King John II of France. The oldest part of this book, the Passion of Christ, was illuminated in Paris between 1372 and 1375 by Jean Le Noir, one of Pucelle's pupils. Some years later the manuscript was completed by the Duke's outstanding new court painter, Jacquemart de Hesdin. One miniature by Jean de Limbourg was added later, probably in 1410-12, after the book had been completed.

The miniature by Jean de Limbourg is on folio 288v. It shows Duc Jean de Berry leaving a city gate as he sets out on a journey on foot. The aging, white haired duke is shown as he appeared at the end of his life.