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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).
Prayers to the Virgin
Aracoeli; Augustus and the Tiburtine Sibyl, Folio 26v
Two quarter-page illuminations mark one of the important prayers to the Virgin typically included in a book of hours, O Intemerata. Together they represent a legendary vision seen by the Roman emperor Augustus, prophesying the birth of Christ. The Aracoeli, or altar of heaven, at the upper left, shows the Virgin and Child on a crescent moon supported by seraphim. At lower right is the kneeling emperor, his gaze directed to the vision above by the gesture of the Tiburtine sibyl, or prophetess.