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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).
Prayer for Travelers
The Duke on a Journey, Folio 223v
Jean de Berry is dressed in red and rides a white horse at the right edge of the composition, surrounded by his retinue. The prayer for travelers was unprecedented in a book of hours, and after this, the duke had it included in two other manuscripts. His life was in danger due to conflict between the Burgundians and Armagnacs, and although the duke was a leader of the Armagnac, he sought to conciliate between the two groups. The imposing castle here bears the blue and gold banners of Burgundy; perhaps the scene is related to the duke’s diplomacy.