Above: Details of illuminations from Folio 186r, Folio 187r, and Folio 189r from the 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).
Now we turn to another great added picture cycle in the Belles Heures, the story of Saint Jerome (ca. 347–420 A.D.). This section of the manuscript traces the saint’s long life from his early interest in classical rhetoric, through his translation of the Bible, to his death and funeral. It includes twelve full-page illuminations replete with unique iconography, extraordinarily subtle modeling, narrative skill, and compositional strength and variety. It also offers a good opportunity for me to discuss the Limbourgs’ spatial construction. Read more »