Limbourg Brothers: Book of Hours and the Très Riches Heures Du Duc De Berry

©Photo. R.M.N. / R.-G. OjŽda
The Limbourg Brothers, Very Rich Hours of the Duke of Berry, book of hours, 1413-16, January, colors and ink on vellum. International Gothic style.

The book of hours are small personal prayer books popular during the medieval times. It was customized and almost exclusively for the wealthy due to its rich colors and small detailed art made by only specialized artists. This painting is one of many famous example of the intricate works that has been applied to these books. This painting depiction of The Duke of Berry fits in a very small page (22.5 x 13.7) of Très Riches Heures by the Limbourg Brothers. The book was never finished. The three brothers and the sponsor lay victims of the plague in 1416.

The book of hours usually shows the calendar (shown as a semi-circle on the top of the page) and depicts small detailed paintings of human activities and the cycle of nature, in which this page is one famous example of. The brothers used many colorful hues and patterns to create a timeline of the winter season where the Duke of Berry is sitting behind his table with the extremely rare blue outfit filled with exotic items and food in celebration. The image show a celebration of New Years and important/wealthy people surrounding the Duke reminding to the reader of the Duke of Berry’s power and influences.

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