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The Limbourg Brothers and the Triumph of the Belles Heures

Date: Thursday, November 20, 2008
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Getty Center, Harold M. Williams Auditorium
Admission: Free; reservations required.

The Belles Heures (or "beautiful hours") of the Duke of Berry is one of the greatest illuminated manuscripts in the history of European art. Tour the gorgeous paintings that adorn its pages in this illustrated lecture by Timothy B. Husband, curator of Medieval Art and The Cloisters, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the book is held.

The three artists who illuminated the Belles Heures, brothers Paul, Herman, and Jean de Limbourg, were astonishing craftsmen who created scenes of surpassing beauty and drama, continually challenging themselves to new creative heights in representing complex narratives, subtle gestures, and minute observations of nature—all on pages smaller than 10 by 6 inches. Great visual storytellers, the Limbourg brothers helped to make manuscript illumination one of the great art forms of the Middle Ages.

The Belles Heures was recently unbound to allow for restoration and the production of a facsimile edition, allowing Husband and other scholars to study it in unprecedented detail. Before the book is rebound, more than 80 of its most stunning illuminations are on view in the exhibition The Belles Heures of the Duke of Berry at the Getty Center from November 18, 2008, to February 8, 2009, and in a related exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of art beginning September 2009.

About Timothy B. Husband
Timothy Husband is curator of Medieval Art and The Cloisters, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and an expert in medieval art of northern Europe. He is author or co-author of numerous books including The Luminous Image: Painted Glass Roundels in the Lowlands, 1480–1560 and Tilman Riemenschneider: Master Sculptor of the Late Middle Ages. His forthcoming book on the Belles Heures, The Art of Illumination: The Limbourg Brothers and the Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry, will be available in December 2008.

Heavenly Host / Limbourg Brothers

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