11 thoughts on “Limbourg Brothers

  1. Suzanna Toske

    When I watched this, I was amazed at how detailed all the Limbourg Brothers’ paintings were. I was really impressed when they showed their paintings from the book and then flashed back into present day and displayed the actual building, itself. They both looked so similar… I was even more impressed when I remembered that these paintings were not big at all; they were in a book. The Limbourg Brothers put so much precise details into a small amount of space, and I thought that was raw talent.

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  2. Lauren Braney

    Before watching this video I had never really heard of the Limbourg Brothers. Now I am aware of how much work they created in such short period of time since they died around when they were 30 years old. The Limbourg Brothers seemed to resemble wealth in the people that owned pieces of their work or able to viewed it. Very large works of art and very small works of art are very exciting to study because they create challenges to create. It amazed me how small their paintings were and they still included lots of very little details. I am looking forward to learn more about the Limbourg Brother’s work and lives.

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  3. Molly Pardoe

    This was a very interesting documentary on the Limbourg Brothers. Understanding their background and their lives provided great context to appreciating their ground-breaking works of art. The intricacy of their work is fascinating. I particularly enjoyed the curator discussing her discoveries in New York, such as the ‘P’ in the castle, and the subtle yet definite differences in the brothers’ styles of painting. The historical aspect they included, like their relationship with the Duke and their “residency” in one of his castles was also very interesting; this tradition was something I hadn’t known before. Thank you for sharing!

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  4. Marie Firth

    This video provided me with a totally new look on how advanced the Limbourg brothers were in comparison with their peers in the art world. It seems as though these barely-twenty year olds had no peers to begin with. Their technical abilities paired with the extremely contemporary subject matter show us that these three young men did indeed advance the art world significantly. It was also interesting to see how dedicated these men were in terms of the pure amount of art they produced. They were quite astounding and amazing artists in my opinion.

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  5. Christine Marshall

    It is amazing to see how three brothers could change the whole world of art before they where 25. Their work even on such a small scale has a huge impact visually and emotionally. I also found it interesting that the Duke had all these paintings commissioned depicting happy farmers working hard for him but in reality his people hated him to the point they burned down some of his castles.

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  6. Alyssa Hughes

    After watching this short film I have a greater appreciation for the amount of time and effort that went into each of their works of art. I was surprised to see that the majority of the detail created was done using such a small tool. When the scientist was able to pin point three different hands it gave me goosebumps. It made me realize how real the work really is. She was able to denote which of the brothers was unsure of his lines, which was accustomed to exaggerating the anatomical length of a human, and which was able to depict the most naturalistic figures. Their art was innovative, and realistic in terms of spacial relation. Although the Limbourg brothers died young they were able to accomplish so much during the small amount of time they did have.

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  7. Josie Yorgason

    I found this video to be very informative of the time period in which the Limbourg Brothers lived. The focus was being taken off of huge masterpieces and turned to small, meticulous works of art that could actually be used for practical purposes. These Books of Hours that these fantastically rich patrons held were more for show, but could also be used for prayer and astrological purposes. I agree with Marie that the Limbourg Brothers were so far advanced for their time. In the video, a man commented that it seemed as if the Limbourg Brothers knew they would die young. Even perhaps in a supernatural way, I feel as if this were true. One question that I did have however, was the type of paint they used. Since the Book of Hours was done on sheep skin, what type of paint was best suited for this type of project?

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    1. maoch Post author

      Josie, good question. I found the following from a University of Chicago webpage. The two “gums” are natural binding elements that keep the pigments in a viscous liquid.

      HOW DID THEY PAINT THE TRES RICHES HEURES?
      The Limbourgs used a wide variety of colours obtained from minerals, plants or chemicals and mixed with either arabic or tragacinth gum to provide a binder for the paint. Amongst the more unusual colours they used were vert de flambe, a green obtained from crushed flowers mixed with massicot, and azur d’outreme, an ultramarine made from crushed Middle Eastern lapis-lazuli, used to paint the brilliant blues. (This was, of course, extremely expensive!)

      The extremely fine detail which was the characteristic feature of the Limbourgs needed extremely fine brushes and, almost certainly, lenses. Later additions to the Tres Riches Heures carried out by the late 14th- century artist Jean Colombe were carried out in a rather less delicate way. The calendars, however, were mostly painted by the Limbourgs; only November includes a substantial amount of Colombe’s work.

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  8. Robert Snook

    Having not previously heard of the Limbourg brothers, this video was a great introduction, not only to the brothers and their work, but to the significance of illustrated manuscripts as an artistic medium during the period in which they lived. It was fascinating to learn about their beginnings, how they came from a family of artisans and literally grew up learning about their craft. I really gained an appreciation for their work after seeing the amount of detail in what they produced. Also, learning about their relationship with the Duc de Berri really showed how respected the brothers were, and how being able to commission work from them (let alone on a permanent basis like the Duke), was quite the status symbol.

    It was also interesting to see how art historians still closely study their work. It was amazing to see how you can differentiate between the work of the three brothers when looking closely at their pictures. The work of the Limbourg Brothers is still extremely valuable. Their book of hours was mentioned as the most valuable book in the world today.

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  9. mhowell2

    After watching the video the first thing that struck me the must was how meticulous it must have been to work on such a tiny canvas. What is more it was astounding that it was three brothers that created this piece of work. The one thing that I kept questioning in the video was how they managed to work together. Their styles in artwork seemed all the same as though it was only one artist who was working on the horoscope book the entire time. It astonishes me that they were able to work together to create artwork. It is very rarely that you hear artists working together on a single piece of work simultaneously.

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    1. maoch Post author

      Yes, these pages are very small…and I wonder what helped the artists see their work as they were painting. What kind of guides did they use?
      For most of the early modern period…really until the 19th c….artists worked in large workshops. One artist was considered the “master,” and his (usually it was a man) name brought patrons to his workshop or studio. But works from his studio were often the work of his assistants. In these cases, the “master” would make initial drawings and plans, assistants would begin the work, and the “mater” would come back at the end to finish it. In fact, this practice continued into the 19th c. with artists such as Rodin, and into the 20th and 21st centuries with artists such as Dale Chihuly (and many others). It isn’t until the 19th c. that we find the artist on his own becoming a growing practice.
      You’ve made some interesting contributions to these three posts…thanks for continuing the conversation. I look forward to seeing how others might react!

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