Thursday, December 17, 2009

Les Très Belles Heures de Notre Dame

Miniaturist from The Netherlands
(around 1400)
Page depicting The Nativity and the Annunciation of the Shepherds from the Très Belles Heures de Notre Dame de Jean de Berry (folio 4 v.)
c. 1400
Illumination on parchment, 203 x 284 mm
Museo Civico d'Arte Antica, Palazzo Madama, Turin

The Turin Les Très Belles Heures de Notre Dame de Jean de Berry, was once attributed to Jan van Eyck

The Très Belles Heures de Notre Dame was begun about 1384 but was left unfinished

In 1413 the still incomplete manuscript appears in an inventory compiled by the Duke's "registrar", Robinet d'Etampes, who shortly thereafter divided it into two parts.

The finished section was kept by Robinet, and the rest was acquired by the House of Bavaria-Holland, which promptly commissioned the Van Eyck brothers, Jan and Hubert, to complete it.

This portion of the manuscript was again divided in two, half of which burned with the Royal Library of Turin in 1904 and the rest of which, known as the Heures de Milan, is presently in the Museo Civico of Turin.

Thus the Très Belles Heures de Notre-Dame is presently divided among the Bibliothèque Nationale (ms. nouv. acq. lat. 3093) and the Louvre (RF 2022-2024) in Paris, and the Turin museum.

The part that perished is known only through reproductions published in 1902.