Saturday, February 27, 2010

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

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is celebrating the splendour of the House of Valois with two exhibitions inspired by the opulence of the French and Burgundian courts at the turn of the 15th century.

"Works created under the aegis of two of the greatest art patrons of the ­period—Jean de France, duc de Berry (1340-1416) and the second Duke of Burgundy, Jean sans Peur (the Fearless, 1371-1419), will fill the Robert Lehman Wing and the Medieval Sculpture Hall. “The Art of Illumination” presents the first, and most likely the last, chance for visitors to see both sides of all 172 folios from the duc de Berry’s richly illustrated Book of Hours.


"On their way to see the Belle Heures, visitors will pass a solemn funeral procession staged in the Medieval Sculpture Hall. “The Mourners” features 40 of the original 41 sculptures (one is lost) from the tomb of John the Fearless and his wife, Margaret of Bavaria.

"John the Fearless commissioned the sculptors Jean de la Huerta and Antoine Le Moiturier to create a tomb that would rival that carved for his father, Philippe le Hardi (the Bold, 1342-1404)) by Claus Sluter.

"The expressive alabaster statues, most of which are on loan from the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dijon, are shown, double-file, in a procession on black plinths, which, according to curator Peter Barnet, is meant to evoke the black marble ledge on which the effigies stand in the tomb’s white stone arcading. “These works have never been on view outside France and outside the context of the tomb,” says Barnet. “Presenting them in a permanent gallery surrounded by other, contemporaneous works is something new for us."

Source: The Art Newspaper

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