Since we’re talking about calendars, I’d like to point out a particularly lucky calendar confluence for those of us who are in New York right now (and for those who aren’t, how worthwhile it would be to visit). Three extraordinary exhibitions of medieval art with complex interrelations are here for a few more months.
At the Met, we have both The Art of Illumination and The Mourners. These exhibitions are related by patronage: the Valois dynasty was the patron in both cases, as Jean de Berry was the uncle of John the Fearless (Jean sans Peur), whose tomb is celebrated in The Mourners. Meanwhile, at The Morgan Library and Museum, you can see the exhibition Demons and Devotion: The Hours of Catherine of Cleves, featuring a different book of hours that has been taken apart to show many of its illuminations as individual leaves. The Hours of Catherine of Cleves was made a generation after the Belles Heures and was painted in the Netherlands rather than France. Having two luxury books of hours exhibited this way is unprecedented, and there is no better way to understand both the uniqueness and the shared, key features of every book of hours. Each book exemplifies private, personal ownership and devotion, and Catherine of Cleves made different choices than Jean de Berry.