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Art of Illumination

The exhibition is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Michel David-Weill Fund.

The related publication is made possible by the Michel David-Weill Fund.

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Music and Ritual for the Dead Imagined in The Belles Heures and The Mourners

Program information

Two concurrent exhibitions of works from fifteenth-century France display works commissioned by the royal members of the Valois family: the alabaster mourner figures from the tomb John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, and his wife, Margaret of Bavaria, and the pages of the Belles Heures (1405 - 1408/9) of Jean de Berry. The Belles Heures, a book of hours (or a personal prayer book meant to bring its readers closer to God), is one of the most celebrated and lavishly illustrated manuscripts in this country. Both represent and imagine liturgical actions, perhaps suggesting a desire of the noble Valois to partake in the liturgy that is usually the purview of the monks and other members of the clergy. This demonstration of exquisite mourning music, requiems, and chants, led by Richard Porterfield, includes discussions about the role of music in the act of fifteenth-century mourning, remembering the dead, and in laying them to rest.

Richard Porterfield, instructor, Mannes College, and founding member of Lionheart

Made possible with support of the Schola Cantorum of Mannes College.


Learn more about the exhibition The Art of Illumination:
http://blog.metmuseum.org/artofillumination/

Learn more about the exhibition The Mourners: Medieval Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy:
http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2010/mourners

The Art of Illumination

The Limbourg Brothers and the Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry

March 1–June 12, 2010

Accompanied by a blog and a related publication

The Belles Heures (1405–1408/9) of Jean de Berry, a treasure of The Cloisters collection, is one of the most celebrated and lavishly illustrated manuscripts in this country. Because it is currently unbound, it is possible to exhibit all of its illuminated pages as individual leaves, a unique opportunity never to be repeated. The exhibition will elucidate the manuscript, its artists—the young Franco-Netherlandish Limbourg Brothers—and its patron, Jean de France, duc de Berry. A select group of precious objects from the same early fifteenth-century courtly milieu will place the manuscript in the context of the patronage of Jean de Berry and his royal family, the Valois.

Related Exhibition

The Mourners: Medieval Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy features sculpture from the tomb of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, who was the nephew of Jean de Berry.