Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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The Prayer Book of Bonne of Luxembourg, Duchess of Normandy

Artist:
Attributed to Jean Le Noir (French, active 1331–75) , and Workshop
Date:
before 1349
Geography:
Made in Paris, France
Culture:
French
Medium:
Tempera, grisaille, ink, and gold on vellum
Dimensions:
Overall (closed): 5 3/16 x 3 13/16 x 1 5/8 in. (13.2 x 9.7 x 4.2 cm) Overall (approx. size opened): 5 3/16 x 7 11/16 x 2 13/16 in. (13.2 x 19.5 x 7.1 cm) individual folios: 4 15/16 x 3 9/16 in. (12.6 x 9 cm) Storage (Book Box): 6 5/16 x 5 3/16 x 2 3/8 in. (16 x 13.2 x 6.1 cm)
Classification:
Manuscripts and Illuminations
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1969
Accession Number:
69.86
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 13
The coat of arms that often appears in this book indicates that it was made for Bonne of Luxembourg, a Bohemian princess who married John, duke of Normandy in 1332. She died of plague in 1349; her husband later became John the Good, king of France.

The use of grisaille (shades of grey) for the figures, the richly colored, decorative backgrounds, and the marginal images reflect the influence of Jean Pucelle, the artist of the Hours of Jeanne d’Evreux in The Cloisters collection. This manuscript is likely by Jean Le Noir—an illuminator in the service of John the Good—who collaborated with his daughter, the enlumineresse (female illuminator) Bourgot.

This manuscript apparently passed into the collection of Bonne’s oldest son, Charles V of France, who established a royal library. Her third son, Jean, duc de Berry, was the patron of The Cloisters’ Belles Heures.
Bonne of Luxembourg(d. 1349) ; Charles V, King of France(by descent, d. 1380) ; Ambroise Firmin-Didot, Paris (until 1882) ; [his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris (June 12–17, 1882, no. 3)] ; Baron Horace de Landau, Florence (d. 1903) ; by descent to his niece, Jenny Finaly, Florence and Paris (ca. 1903–d. 1938) ; by descent to her son, Horace Finaly, Paris (1938–d. 1945) ; [Landau collection sale, Sotheby's, London(July 12–13, 1948, no. 97)] ; Martin Bodmer Library, Geneva (through H. P. Kraus, New York, 1969)
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