Leaf from a Book of Hours: St. Matthew

Leaf from a Book of Hours: St. Matthew

c. 1415-20

follower of Limbourg Brothers


Ink, tempera and gold on vellum

Leaf: 18.1 x 13 cm (7 1/8 x 5 1/8 in.)

The Jeanne Miles Blackburn Collection 2005.204



The Limbourg Brothers were famous Dutch miniature painters from the city of Nijmegen. They were active in France and Burgundy during the early 1400s, working in the style known as International Gothic. The Limbourgs are known to have first worked for Philip the Bold, duke of Burgundy, and later for Duke Jean de Berry. Their uncle was the Netherlandish painter Jean Malouel, court painter to Philip the Bold. The palette of this miniature, with its ultramarine blues, soft pink, and pale green, as well as the crisp diapered ground, is typical of the Limbourgs’ work. Attention to volume and space as expressed by the abundant robes of the saint cascading over the ground are strongly suggestive of Burgundian court sculpture. This miniature appears to be by the hand of an artist directly acquainted with the Limbourgs’ work and illustrates their influence on French illuminators.

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