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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).
Readings from the Gospels
Saint Matthew, Folio fol. 22r
Most fifteenth-century books of hours include excerpts from the Gospels, and like many of them, the Belles Heures begins each Gospel with a small illumination of the author writing his text. Such author portraits had been traditional since classical times. Saint Matthew is seated on the ground and his symbol, the winged man, provides inspiration overhead.