These two selections is from the calendar done fer the Duc de Berry ( a really really rich Duc--thas' French fer "dude") by the famous Limbourg brothers:
"In terms of historical and cultural importance, Tres Heures is certainly equal to more famous works such as the Mona Lisa, marking the pinnacle of the art of manuscript illumination."
This is April
"The arrival of spring, hope and new life - the grass is green and a newly betrothed couple are exchanging rings in the foreground, accompanied by friends and family. The chateau is another one of the Duc's, that of Dourdan."
.........What I notice is the Duc's chateau has a lovely potager--a kitchn garden wif' what might be pears or apple trees or soemthin' espaliered --ain't it lovely?
This heah below, now, is May. Note the important use of green. An doan'cha love the treatment of the astronomic sky?
"On the first of May, following a tradition derived hom the floralia of antiquity, young men used to make a light-hearted jaunt through the country and bring back branches. On that day one had to wear green at the risk of being ridiculed. This is the origin of the expression "Je vous prends sans vert" ("I've caught you napping"). In his youth the Duc de Berry liked to take part in this festivity, and at court the King would distribute garments made of cloth vert gai in color and known as livrée de mai. This garb is worn by the three girls riding horses caparisoned in a refined soft green, a color obtained from the crushed crystalline stone, malachite."
Pappy Cracker took his girls to Istanbul 'bout ten years ago. I was astounded to see them Turks had a version of illuminated manuscripts too--oh? Whas' that ya say?
The Muslims ain't supposed to paint pictures of live thangs? I know. I know. But lemme tell ya, they have FAB-u-lous illuminations. A Cracker Lady could spend a lifetime collectin' all manner of Medieval illuminations.
Meanwhile, thar's always cribbin' from the internet like I done.
Some of the most magnificent examples of the Book of Hours is now at the Met in NYC. Belles Heures runs through June 13th.
The Très Riches Heures was by the Limbourg brothers, Paul, Hermann and Jean. They came from Nijmegen in what is now the Netherlands but were generally referred to as Germans. Very little is known about them; they are believed to have been born in the late 1370s or 1380s and were born into an artistic family, their father being a wood sculptor and their uncle being an artist working variously for the French Queen and for the Duc de Bourgogne.
They seem to have followed in their uncle's footsteps and by 1402 had entered into the service of the Duc de Bourgogne as artists. By 1408 they had entered the service of Jean, Duc de Berry, one of the most notable (and richest!) art lovers in France. They are known to have executed several other pieces of work apart from the Très Riches Heures but most of these, with the major exception of the Très Belles Heures, seem to have been lost.
The Limbourgs used a wide variety of colours obtained from minerals, plants or chemicals and mixed with either arabic or tragacinth gum to provide a binder for the paint. Amongst the more unusual colours they used were vert de flambe, a green obtained from crushed flowers mixed with massicot, and azur d'outreme, an ultramarine made from crushed Middle Eastern lapis-lazuli, used to paint the brilliant blues. (This was, of course, extremely expensive!)
An the Limbourgs did some ordinary "chore" hours too. I love 'em! Gardenin' like this must have been pretty as a picture. Onc't, y'all, in France I drove over a ridge to come down a mild slope to see chamomile growin' in ten acre blocks alternated wif' somethin' green--the whole country side was green an' gold wif the blue sky above, an yes, the ruin of a castle on the distant hill...an' I stopped the buggy an' jes' sat lookin', tryin' to burn it in mah brain , the look of it. I never saw the first machine though later I did see tractors, but on that day I coulda been in 1474.
Does this one below give y'all the willies? The torment of St. Anthony ( who prevailed!)
In around February 1416 all three Limbourg brothers died before the age of thirty, apparently killed by an epidemic."
Their patron was Jean de Berry--15th-century France - his brothers were King Charles V, the Duc d'Anjou and the Duc de Bourgogne, and his nephews were King Charles VI and the Duc d'Orleans.In addition to his ostriches, an' camels he was the medieval world's greatest connoisseur of the visual arts, most importantly - a magnificent collection of books. He owned astronomical treatises, mappa mondes, and a large number of religious books: 14 Bibles, 16 psalters, 18 breviaries, 6 missals and no less than 15 Books of Hours, including of course the Tres Riches Heures.
Now, THAT is riches!
Foam, a dear blogger friend suggested the illuminations of Hildegard von Bingen, a 12 century anchorite and mystic. She also wrote books and music--an incredibly talented and insightful woman. Here is a sample of Hildegard's illuminations:
notice how a door of heaven opens and fire is pouring down on Hildegard? well, this is indicative of her viasions which she described as a holy fire --an infused knowledge of the world, the future... this lady was one of mah favorite--though I had not known of her artwork. I HAD known of her writings, her history, her music (CDs of which I play). What I like about Hilde is that she was a tireless opponenet of heresy. Yep, she blasted it wherever it reared its ugly head. ( a wee clarification: anybody who wants to believe anything whatever is welcome to--Aunty ain't out to crack haids on account of what somebody beleives. But heresy is different. A heretic is one who claims to be of a certain religious afflication, but refuses to abide by the teaching of the religion they profess--imagine a fellow on the Gator football team who inists he has a "right" to wear a FSU Seminole jersey and to hep the Seminoles make a play...ridiculous, right? EGGSactly. )
Anywhoo....Hildegard was an amazin' lady--thanks Foamy!!