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Belles Heures of Jean de France, duc de Berry, 1405–1408/9. Herman, Paul, and Jean de Limbourg (Franco-Netherlandish, active in France by 1399–1416). French; Made in Paris. Ink, tempera, and gold leaf on vellum; 9 3/8 x 6 5/8 in. (23.8 x 16.8 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Cloisters Collection, 1954 (54.1.1).
Suffrages of the Saints
Saint Charlemagne, Folio 174r
The massive ruler presides over his elaborate throne, and the coat of arms held by the angel above makes the political point that the fleur-de-lis of France is at least of equal power with the eagle of the Holy Roman Empire, both of which trace their lineage to Charlemagne. In the commanding but static pose, the image brings to mind the Heroes Tapestries at The Cloisters, which are of the same approximate date as The Belles Heures and were certainly known, if not owned, by the duke.