the Limbourg brothers gebroeders Van Limburg
gebroeders Van Limburg

Design: LaVerbe

First generation

The Limbourg brothers were direct descendants of the Maelwael artistic pedigree, which is believed to have originated in Kleve or Xanten. The first generation of Maelwaels found their way to Nijmegen in the late 1370s. Sources identify the brothers as Herman and Willem, along with a third brother, Johan, who was a priest. Herman and Willem were painters, who worked primarily painting heraldic emblems on shields, banners and ensigns. The court of the duchy of Gelre was an important patron of the arts. The brothers came into direct contact with the Duke, which marked the beginning of the network on which later generations would build, ultimately leading to the most powerful dukes in France.

Herman and Willem were 'independent contractors'. They worked out of their own studio or workshop and both of them owned houses on the Burchtstraat in Nijmegen, which runs from the Market Square to the Valkhof. Herman also served as king-of-arms to Duke Willem van Gülick, an important function, which he apparently earned because of his expertise in heraldry. There is no mention of Herman and Willem Maelwael in the Gelre archives after 1396.

gebroeders Van Limburg