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ID photo: Limbourg Brothers’ alleged self-portraits
The Limbourg brothers, or in Dutch Gebroeders van Limburg (Herman, Paul, and Johan; fl. 1385-1416); famous Dutch miniature painters from the city of Nijmegen. They were active in the early 15th c. 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.
Around 1398, after their father's death, the brothers were sent for by their uncle Jean Malouel (or Johan Maelwael, Jehan Maleuel in original French sources), the most important painter for the French and Burgundian courts of the time. Herman and Johan learned the craft of goldsmithing in Paris....
From surviving documents it is known that in February 1402 Paul and Johan were contracted by Philip to work for 4 years exclusively on illuminating a bible. This may or may not have been the Bible Moralisée, Ms.fr.166 in the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris, which is indisputably an early work by the Limbourg brothers. 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, 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.
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.