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

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0300200225
ISBN-10: 0300200226
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[A] beautifully produced book."--Margaret Goehring
(Margaret Goehring Renaissance Quarterly)

"A lavish publication...[The Art of Illumination] is an authoritative...monographic manuscript studym providing an in-depth look at one of the most luxurious manuscripts in existence."--Martha Easton, Speculum--A Journal of Medieval Studies
(Martha Easton Speculum--A Journal of Medieval Studies) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Timothy Bates Husband is Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art (September 10, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300200226
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300200225
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 9.5 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,792,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ivor E. Zetler on August 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This fabulous book, an examination of the earlier masterpiece of the Limbourg Brothers, should be an obligatory purchase for anyone with an interest in illuminated manuscripts. It is astonishing to consider that the three brothers were barely out of their teens when they produced this magnificent Book of Hours between 1405-9. How tragic to realise that they all died in 1416, probably stricken by the plague.

All the 223 folios are excellently reproduced in color. Many of the pages are printed in full size; the remainder are seen without their decorative borders. All the illustrations are described and there is some translation of the text. There are interesting biographical articles on the Limbourg Brothers and their patron the duc de Berry. Additionally, there is more detailed discussion of the Belles Heures.

Given the quality of this Metropolitan Museum publication, I regard this book as a bargain given its asking price. I also suggest that those interested in this subject investigate the catalogue entitled The Limbourg Brothers, Nijmengen Masters at the French Court.

P.S. I have recently seen an exhibition of the dismantled leaves in Paris (Louvre); the total experience was overwhelming for its beauty. While no book could reproduce the purity of the original, is good to have a printed reminder of what was seen.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The catalogue for an exhibition held at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Met in NYC, this is an erudite and wonderfully illustrated book on one of the treasures of Western art. The text is very complete, with an in-depth study of the meaning of the manuscript, a description of the decoration of the pages, a thorough biography of the Limbourg Brothers and of the Duc de Berry, their biggest patron, and a study of their sources and influences. The illustrations are close to perfect, always in color and often full-page, and give an invaluable insight into a universal masterpiece.

Highly recommended to anyone interested in the art of illumination.
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Format: Hardcover
... for personal devotions! Of course! That was the assumption of people of the social class of the Duc de Berry in the 15th Century! (And don't you wish you'd been one of them?)

Going further: Everybody should have an illuminated Book of Hours painted and calligraphed on vellum by exquisitely skilled artisans like the Limbourg Brothers! Unfortunately, illumination of this quality was painstakingly slow and such manuscripts were fantastically expensive, and besides there are simply too many of us and too few surviving manuscripts. So, much as I would give for a Limbourg codex, I don't have one. Do you?

There are a few exact facsimiles of such manuscripts on the market, but even those are diabolically expensive. This printed 'catalogue' of the glorious exhibition of the art of the Limbourgs, which I saw at the Metropolitan in New York a few months ago, is the next best thing. The color plates are beautifully printed. The text is intelligent and informative. I carried it home from the exhibition and now I can use it to recollect the illuminations, and I don't even need to jostle elbows!

I notice that the amazoo price has dropped almost to a merciful modesty. It's still expensive, but well worth the price.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very pleased with Amazon's service. I asked for a replacement copy of this new book because the dust cover was creased because of the packaging. I got a new delivery very quickly. Using the website for a return coupon was very easy. The book is gorgeous and I was happy to see the manuscripts again as I had seen the show at the Met last year.
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