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The Belles Heures Of Jean De France, Duke Of Berry Manuscript And The Question Of The Artists’ ‘Hands’

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Chapter Summary

The extraordinarily beautiful book of hours, The Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duke of Berry, c. 1405-8 by the Limbourg Brothers: Herman, Paul, and Jean from Nijmegen, Guelders was commissioned by the Duke of Berry, one of the greatest collectors of all time. Belonging to the Department of Medieval Art and the Cloisters at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, it is one of the great treasures of the western world. The painting techniques in the Belles Heures requires more study beyond existing examination and scientific analysis of materials performed to understand the relationship between the underdrawing and the finished miniatures. This chapter reports on observations made on 'the hands' as expressed in both underdrawing layout and painting techniques in the Belles Heures. Close examination indicates the 'drawing hand' artist uses fine linear, engraving-like lines in painting as well as underdrawing.

Keywords: Belles Heures; Duke of Berry; Limbourg brothers



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