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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).
Fifteen Joys of the Virgin
The Duke of Berry in Prayer, Folio 91r
On a page with the concluding text of the “Fifteen Joys of the Virgin” is a half-page illumination of the duke in prayer, identified by his royal ermine and fleur-de-lis cloth. Although he was in his sixties when the page was painted, he is here represented as a younger man. Close looking reveals changes in the painting: the duke’s coronet replaces a turban-like head covering, and the position of the duke was not originally in strict profile. Spatial and iconographic ambiguities surround the second figure in the scene, a partially obscured attendant bearing a mace.