Limbourg brothers: Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry; Labors of the Months - January (1412-1416)


(Musée Condé, Chantilly, Oise, France)

A miniature made by the Dutch Limbourg brothers (1385 – 1416). This miniature is of the book 'Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry' ('the rich hours of the Duke of Berry'), a so-called 'book of hours' - a collection of prayers to be said during the canonical hours of the liturgical day. These books were created for people who wished to incorporate elements of monasticism into their devotional life. This book was John the Magnificent, Duke of Berry (1340-1416) - brother of King Charles V of France and Duke Philip the Bold of Burgundy. Part of the book is a calendar of church feasts and saints' days. This page shows the month January. Presented on the page is the household of John the Magnificent (the sitting man in blue with fur hat) which are exchanging New Year gifts. 
The duke is sitting at a table on which food is laid out. Guests are entering the room and are welcomed by a servant with the words 'Approche approche' (come closer), several guests are warming their hands at the fireplace. The group is inside the palace of john which has tapestries with a scene of knights emerging from a castle ready to go into battle. Book from 1412 - 1416.

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