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Très Riches Heures

Limbourg Brothers, and others, ca. 1411 — 1416
Musée Condé, Chantilly

Books of Hours were the bestsellers of medieval times. This one, the Tres Riches Heures, is of great historical significance and ranks among the loveliest of all fifteenth-century illuminated manuscripts. It is one of the finest examples of the International Gothic style. The volume’s intrinsic merits make it the most important work of its time, which explains its inclusion in the CODART Canon. On a personal level, this was the work that inspired me to take an interest in and study this artistic discipline.

The manuscript is a private book of prayers commissioned by John, Duke of Berry – patron of the arts and avid collector – from Jean, Herman and Paul Limbourg. The Limbourg brothers were reputed miniature painters who worked as a team. They began work on this volume around 1411, but it was left unfinished and later completed by a succession of different artists, one of whom was probably Barthélemy d’Eyck. Some of the most exquisite full-page illustrations are found on the calendar pages for the months of January, April and May.

Dolores Delgado, Curator Old Masters, Dutch, English, Flemish and German Painting, Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

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A digital catalogue of medieval illuminated manuscripts in French public libraries

The manuscript on Initiale


Explore the illuminations in detail

The manuscript on Wikimedia