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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.

Featured Media

The Art of Illumination: The Limbourg Brothers and the Belles Heures - Behind the Scenes with the Director

Program information

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. When it was unbound for conservation, each of its illuminated pages were exhibited as individual leaves—a unique opportunity never to be repeated. The exhibition, The Art of Illumination, elucidated the manuscript, its artists (the young Franco-Netherlandish Limbourg brothers), and its patron, Jean de France, Duc de Berry, and set the manuscript in the context of the patronage of Jean de Berry and his royal family, the Valois.

Director Thomas Campbell speaks with curator Timothy Husband about this incredible and historic exhibition The Art of Illumination: The Limbourg Brothers and the Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry. Even as a book of hours, the Belles Heures is uniquely rich and exquisitely illustrated, and it includes illumination and painting that go far beyond the stated purpose of such a prayer book. Husband and the Director walk us through this masterful manuscript, delving into the intriguing stories told in its masterful illuminations.


Learn more about the mysterious history of Belles Heures:
http://www.metmuseum.org/metmedia/video?chanID=ed7118a1-6156-4a12-80ce-5fe2882cab84

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


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.