Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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The Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux, Queen of France

Artist:
Jean Pucelle (French, active Paris, 1319–34)
Date:
ca. 1324–28
Geography:
Made in Paris
Culture:
French
Medium:
Grisaille, tempera, and ink on vellum
Dimensions:
single folio: 3 5/8 x 2 7/16 in. (9.2 x 6.2 cm) Overall (with binding): 3 7/8 x 2 13/16 x 1 1/2 in. (9.9 x 7.2 x 3.8 cm)
Classification:
Manuscripts and Illuminations
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1954
Accession Number:
54.1.2
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 13
At first glance, this tiny prayer book, with not a trace of gold, might seem an unlikely possession for a queen of France. But it is a work of exceptional artistry: the figures are rendered in delicate grisaille (shades of gray), giving them an amazingly sculptural quality, and are accented with rich color and touches of lilac and turquoise. The 209 folios include twenty-five full-page paintings with paired images from the Infancy and Passion of Christ and scenes of the life of Saint Louis, the queen’s ancestor. In the margins, close to 700 illustrations depict the bishops, beggars, street dancers, maidens, and musicians that peopled the streets of medieval Paris, as well as apes, rabbits, dogs, and creatures of sheer fantasy. The testament of Jeanne d’Evreux identifies this prayer book, left to King Charles V, as the one "that Pucelle illuminated." At Charles’s death, the book entered the collection of another famous bibliophile, his brother Jean, duc de Berry, patron of The Cloisters’ Belles Heures.
Jeanne d'Evreux, Queen of France(by 1328–d. 1371) ; bequeathed to Charles V, King of France(1371–d. 1380) ; bequeathed to Charles VI, King of France(from 1380) ; Jean, Duke of Berry d. 1416(listed in inventories from 1401–d.1416) ; Louis-Jules de Châtelet and Christine de Gleseneuve, Bar, France (ca. 1618–before 1672) ; Adolphe Carl Rothschild, Château de Pregny, Geneva (until d. 1900) ; bequeathed to his wife, Caroline Julie Anselme Rothschild(1900–d. 1907) ; bequeathed to Maurice Edmond Charles Rothschild, Paris (1909–collection looted by Nazi officials January 1941) ; stored in Neuschwanstein Castle, Füssen, Germany (inventory no. R.1052) ; recovered in 1945 and restituted to Maurice Edmond Charles Rothschild, Château de Pregny, Geneva (1948–54) ; [ Rosenberg and Stiebel, Inc., New York (sold 1954)]
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Dillon, Emma. The Sense of Sound: Musical Meaning in France, 1260-1330. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. pp. 193, 218-21, 243-86, fig. 6.6, 6.18, 6.29, 7.1-.6.

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Husband, Timothy B. Les Belles Heures du Duc de Berry, edited by Hélène Grollemund, and Pascal Torres. Italy: Musée du Louvre Éditions, 2012. pp. 42, 44, fig. 22.

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