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"The Tres Riches Heures" is the most luxurious and most famous examples of manuscript illumination in late medieval Europe. Commissioned by the influential patron, Jean de Berry, in the early years of the fifteenth century, this masterpiece was executed by the three Limbourg brothers, the greatest miniaturists of the time. Their beautifully presented texts are accompanied by lush illustrations, in which the artists' imaginative and decorative genius are fully revealed. Their elegant images influenced the course of painting in France and all of Northern Europe; but, as Millard Meiss comments, 'no painter could match the smooth perfection of their surface, their limpid colour and complex simplicity. Their art could capture the delicate transitory beauty of a newly opened flower.' This edition reproduces each of the miniatures in "The Tres Riches Heures" to scale and in full colour, capturing both the subtle colour and minute detail of these historic images.
Millard Meiss (1904-1975), an American art historian, taught art history at Columbia from 1934 to 1953 and thereafter was professor at Harvard until 1958, when he joined the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, N.J. He edited several leading art journals and wrote articles and books on medieval and Renaissance painting.