Thursday, 31 December 2015


This is the depiction of the giving of New Year gifts, for the Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. It's a jolly image, but one which seems to me fraught with tension and competition.  The manuscript was famously illuminated by the Limbourg brothers.  In 1411, the brothers presented the Duke with a New Year gift themselves: 'un livre contrefait d'une pièce de bois en semblance d'un livre, où il n'a nuls feuillets ne rien escript' ('a piece of wood made to look like a book, with no pages, and nothing written in it').  It was lavishly decorated and made to look quite splendid. I wish you all the jokiness of the Limbourgs, and none of the tension of the Dukes.

source: wikipedia

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