Chantilly, Musée Condé, Ms. 65

Les Très Riches Heures of the Duke of Berry Facsimile Edition

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This most lavish manuscript ranks among the most famous and precious books of the world and its miniatures among the most beautiful of the Middle Ages. The script is of extreme beauty and clarity and richly decorated with initials and ornamental borders. However, the main feature of this manuscript, which has brought its international renown, are above all the marvellous miniatures in the manner of panel paintings. The artists who participated in the execution of this magnificent book are well known: the Limbourg brothers and Jean Colombe were great masters of their times. Executed between 1410 and 1485 this unique work with its innovatory spirit and bold artistic approach clearly outdid everything hitherto known.

Mysterious History

The Très Riches Heures were made on behalf of the greatest bibliophile of his time, the Duke of Berry, around 1410. When he died in 1416, work on the book was interrupted. The then incomplete and unbound manuscript was handed down to the House of Savoy, to Duke Charles I who inherited the lavishly decorated work and ordered its completion. Its path is then lost in the mist of times. The manuscript later reappears in the middle of the 19th century in the library of an Italian baron who sold it to the duc d'Aumale. After the fall of Napoleon III, the manuscript came to France where it is kept today at the Château de Chantilly and now belongs to the Institut de France.

The Artists - Outstanding Masters of Their Times

The Duke of Berry entrusted the Limbourg brothers, who had worked in the bibliophile's services since 1404, with the execution of this manuscript. The art of the brothers Pol, Herman and Jean Limbourg was unique, its special character forbidding any imitation. Their work always represented and still remains to this day a landmark of Occidental painting. However, after their sudden death in 1416, the manuscript was left incomplete. The manuscript remained unfinished for quite some time until in 1485 Jean Colombe continued to work on it on the initiative of the Duke of Savoy. The artist clearly admired the Limbourg brother's style but refused to imitate it and developed his own style in accordance with the currents of his times. The calendar leaves in particular have not yet been fully attributed to a particular artist. Art historians speak of another "intermediary painter" who could have completed some of the calendar illustrations around 1440, however this theory has never been fully confirmed.

We have 3 facsimiles of the manuscript "Les Très Riches Heures of the Duke of Berry":

#1 Las Muy Ricas Horas del duque de Berry

Valencia: Patrimonio Ediciones, 2011

  • This facsimile is not complete.
    Note: The facsimile reproduces 130 miniatures and 102 pages of text (for a total of 150 pages out of 416 of the full manuscript).

130 miniatures and 102 pages of text. Includes a Cd-Rom containing the 208 folios which make up the original codex. Our fine facsimile edition contains 150 pages and includes its 130 miniatures. 

Pergamenata Edition. First and unique fine facsimile edition with pergamenata paper and gold leaf with similar characteristics to the one used by the most prestigious publishing houses specialized in quasi-originals or facsimiles of illuminated manuscripts on paper, pergamenata or natural lambskin parchment. 744 single copies numbered and individually authenticated by notary public, exclusively intended for the new subscribers of the Collection Bibliothèque duc de Berry composed of the Bible moralisée of the Limbourgs, the Grandes Heures of the Duke of Berry and the Très Riches Heures of the Duke of Berry. Italia Edition. 150 single copies numbered and individually authenticated by notary public. The use of paper and golden leaf with similar characteristics to the ones used by other publishers reduces significantly its costs, the result is a best price facsimile. Gold Edition. 105 single copies with authentic 22 carat pure fine gold leaf and pergamenata paper. Sold out.

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#2 Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry

Lucerne or Munich: Faksimile Verlag, 1984

  • Commentary (English, French, German)
  • Limited Edition: 980 copies
  • This facsimile is complete (full-size color reproduction of the whole original document).

The facsimile of this luxurious manuscript contains 416 pages in the format of 29 x 21 cm and includes 131 miniatures, all richly decorated with silver and gold, as well as over 3,000 gold initials. The commentary volume of 435 pages describes the manuscript and its historical and artistic background in full detail in German, English and French and also comprises a full transcription of the text.

The Four Seasons of the Duc de Berry

In addition to the facsimile edition of the Très Riches Heures Faksimile Verlag has an elaborate edition of The Four Seasons of the Duc de Berry on offer. 12 superb leaves showing all months of the year as well as the corresponding manuscripts are presented in a sumptuous box. A lavishly illustrated booklet describes the manuscripts as well as the leaves. The leaves are presented in a precious linen-covered box decorated with the arms of the bibliophile duke. The 12 leaves can also be used as an exclusive wall decoration since all folios are framed in passe-partout.

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€ 7,376

approx US$ 8,006

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#3 Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry

Modena: Franco Cosimo Panini Editore, 2011

  • Commentary (Italian) by Stirnemann, P.; Villela-Petit, I.
  • Limited Edition: 550 copies
  • This facsimile is complete (full-size color reproduction of the whole original document).

Franco Cosimo Panini Editore’s decision to produce the facsimile reproduction of this priceless manuscript was a response to the work’s qualities, the manner in which the work seamlessly blends superlative artistry with an impressive ability to observe and naturalistically reproduce what has been observed, and the adornments or embellishments – also superlative. Hence, Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry: the eleventh in the series of reproductions of Franco Cosimo Panini Editore’s ‘flagship’ project, the Biblioteca Impossibile.
The facsimile – identical to the original in all its parts, faithfully reproducing the refinement which is so evident in the codex – has been published as a single (unrepeatable) limited edition of 550 copies for world distribution.
The work is accompanied by a treatise publication providing comments, critical notes and analysis (edited by Patricia Stirnemann e Inés Villela-Petit).

Binding

Morocco binding with gold printing, featuring the coats of arms of the Serra and Spinola families (front and back cover, respectively)

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