Marginal Matters | Catalog of Decorators | Catalog of Manuscripts

A Master of the Belles Heures

New York, The Cloisters, The Belles Heures  

f. 52

Bayeux, Bibliothèque du Chapitre, MS 61: Pontifical-Missal of Étienne Loypeau, the Bishop of Luçon  

f. 60 detail

f. 60

London, British Library, Add. ms. 29433: Book of Hours  

f. 22v det.

f. 22v

London, British Library, Egerton 2709: Conquête et les conquérants des Iles Canaries Identified Collaborators: Decorator: Belles Heures A Master; Miniature: Master of the Cité des Dames

f. 2 detail

f. 2

London, British Library, Harley 4381-4382: Bible historiale. An inscription by Nicolas Flamel identifying Jean de Berry as the owner appears on the first unnumbered folio of MS 4381. A second mark of ownership appears on f. 285 of MS 4382. Identified collaborators: Decorators: A Master; Miniatures: Egerton master responsible for the major parts of the first volume and the Virgil Master largely responsible for the second volume. The Ravanelle Painter was responsible for the two frontispieces and miniatures on folios 9 and 9v. Lindquist-Sandgren .p. 61: "For the Harley Bible the principal scribe, libraire Regnault de Montet, also decorated the catchwords in the bottom margins with small ink drawings (n.60: the same decorated catchwords are found in other works he copied for Jean de Berry. See Patrick de Winter 1978, p. 194 and Avril 1969, pp. 310-314.)


Harley 4382, f. 1

Harley 4382, f. 1 details

Harley 4381, f. 255v det.

The floral decoration on this page comes very close to that found in the early books by the A Master, like Morgan 515, Keble College ms 11, Bayeux ms 61, and the Book of Hours formerly in the Dyson Perrins collection. The A Master's decoration thus suggests a dating for the Harley mss to the end of the fourteenth century or the first years of the fifteenth century.


Harley 4381, f. 255v

London, British Library, Yates Thompson, ms 46: Book of Hours, use of Paris, c. 1410-c. 1420.  

f. 25 det.

f. 25

The A Master's decoration on folio 25 was supplemented by later additions. The image on the right deletes these images. When this is done, it is evident that spaces had been left for marginal figures likes those found in the borders of Douce 144 and Add 29433. The decoration of Yates Thompson ms 46 shows a change in the decorative plan. It is likely that this page was done much earlier than the other miniatures in the manuscript which appear to be around 1420. The decoration of this page is consistent with the A Master's work in the Belles Heures and the St. Maur Hours. The miniature by the Mazarine Master comes close to his miniatures in the St. Maur Hours. It is therefore likely that this page was done around 1410.


Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum, MS. 72: Book of the Philosopher Alchandreus Identified Collaborators: Miniatures: Virgil Master
The decoration of the Getty manuscript comes very close to the A Master's decoration in Egerton 2709. The echoes of the Limbourg miniatures from the Belles Heures on the frontispiece of the Getty manuscript suggests that this manuscript comes from the same period as the New York manuscript. Compare this manuscript to fr. 414 which has a frontispiece by the Virgil Master that also shows knowledge of Belles heures compositions. This indicates a date for the Getty manuscript between 1405 and 1410.




New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, M. 515: Book of Hours, use of Nantes. A colophon on fol. 216v written by the scribe states the manuscript was written and illuminated in Nantes in 1402: "L'an mil IIIIc et II furent escriptes et enlumines cestes matines a la vill de Nantes."  

f. 95 detail

fol. 95


Oxford, Bodleian Library, Douce 144: Book of Hours. Note on folio 27 at the end of the prayer "O intemerata" states: "factum et completum est anno Mo.CCCCo.Vii o. quo ceciderunt pontes par." Identified collaborators:

f. 28v, detail

f. 28v

Oxford, Keble College, MS 11: Book of Hours, use of Rome. The presence of Sts. Donatian and Rogatian in the calendar suggests that it might have been produced in the diocese of Nantes.  

f. 13.

Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fr. 247: Josephus, Les antiquités judaïques . Book made for Jean de Berry but left unfinished at the time of his death in 1416.  

f. 70 detail

Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fr. 282: Valerius Maximus, Faits et dits mémorables . Presentation copy of a new French translation presented to Jean de Berry on New Year's Day 1402 by Jacques Courau, the duke's treasurer.  

f. 173 detail

f. 173

Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fr. 616: Gaston Phoebus, Livre de la chasse.  

f. 105v det.

f. 105v


Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, nouv. acq. lat. 3107: St. Maur Hours  

f. 33 detail

f. 33

Paris, Bibliothèque Sainte Geneviève, MS 2713: Book of Hours, c. 1410 Collaborators: miniature of the Annunciation and its borders can be connected to the Douce 144 group. The miniature is related to the Belles Heures and St. Maur Hours works of the same subject. Bibliography: The Limbourg Brothers: Nijmegen Masters at the French Court 1400-1416, no. 119, pp. 406-407.

fol. 35

fol. 60


Whereabouts unknown, formerly Dyson Perrins collection: Book of Hours, use of Nantes  

f. 57 detail