Petit Heures de Duc de Berry

Petites Heures of Jean of France,
Duc de Berry

A Small Prayer Book, a Great Work of Art

This little Book of Hours is a monumental artistic achievement of the 14c, commissioned by the bibliophile Jean de Berry. The son of a king, the brother, and uncle, of of kings, the duc was a collector of the arts and a great patron of artists.  Spanning several generations, some of the most important book illustrators of the time worked on this gothic masterpiece. The beautiful royal treasure, is now available in this high-resolution facsimile edition. Both text and miniature pages of this lavish Book of Hours are decorated with the most exqisite scrollwork or rinceaux, alive with birds and butterflies.

Commissioned by the duc de Berry around 1372, the book took many years and five illuminators to complete. The great Jean le Noir began the work, and after his death the Petite Heures were continued by the master Jacquemart de Hesdin and his colleagues, including the Master of the Trinity and the artist known as Pseudo-Jacquemart. Four miniatures are attributed to the artist designated ‘the Fifth Master’  and  a single page, added later by the duke, is by the Limbourg brothers.

The Petite Heures contains 119 miniatures, dazzling with gold and silver. The patron himself is included in a great number of the pictures and the miniature ‘Duke of Berry Setting off on a Trip’ shows the aging duke being guided on his way by an angel.

The original of this gothic masterpiece, made for an art patron with great knowledge and resources is kept in Paris at the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

A Fine Art Facsimile Edition

The original: MS.Lat.18014

Pages, pictures and decorations: all 586 pages of the Petites Heures are reproduced in high-resolution facsimile, including the 119 richly decorated gold and silver leaf miniatures, and over 300 decorated pages.

Dimensions and binding: the book is produced in the original 21 by 14.5 format in a limited edition of 980 copies worldwide. Very few copies remain. The edition has full binding in black leather, sewn on four cords, and with gold embossing work. The trimmed double leaves are gilt-edged on three sides.

The book has a commentary volume by Avril, Dunlop and Yapp.

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