The Limbourg brothers (Dutch: Gebroeders van Limburg or Gebroeders Van Lymborch; fl. 1385 – 1416) were famous Dutch miniature painters (Herman, Paul, and Johan) from the city of Nijmegen. They were active in the early 15th century in France and Burgundy, working in the style known as International Gothic. They created what is certainly the best-known late medieval illuminated manuscript, the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry.
From surviving documents it is known that in February 1402 Paul and Johan were contracted by Duke Philip of Burgundy to work for four years exclusively on illuminating a bible, but Philip II died in 1404 before the brothers had completed their work.
After Philip’s death, Herman, Paul, and Johan later in 1405 came to work for his brother John, Duke of Berry, who was an extravagant collector of arts and especially books. Their first assignment was to illuminate a Book of Hours, now known as the Belles Heures du Duc de Berry; held in The Cloisters of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
This work was finished in 1409 much to the satisfaction of the duke, and he assigned them to an even more ambitious project for a book of hours. This became the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, which is widely regarded as the peak of late medieval book illumination, and possibly the most valuable book in the world. It is kept as Ms. 65 in the Musée Condé in Chantilly, France.
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