|The Hidden Masters of the Middle Ages: the Limbourg Brothers
An extraordinary documentary on the amazing work of three young artists who conquered the world, and produced two of the worlds most valuable books.
Their work is world famous and their influence was huge, but the artists themselves were virtually unknown. But no medieval paintings seem as familiar as the works of the Limbourg Brothers. In more than 700 amazing miniatures they rendered an encyclopaedic picture of their world.
Umberto Eco, one of Europe's leading intellectuals, describes their oeuvre as 'a sort of film documentary, an array of images that show us what life was like in that specific era. But no film was ever so true to life, or had the lustre and the touching beauty equal to these scenes'.
This film gives a face to the artists that gave the Middle Ages a face. We follow the development of their talent in the cultural climate of the early 14th century. We see how the brothers were born and raised in an artistic environment in Nijmegen, the most prominent city of the duchy of Gueldres, and then made their move to Paris. There, in the cultural capital of Europe, their talents blossomed at the princely courts of France.
The Limbourg Brothers produced their finest work between 1408 and 1416 in Paris and Bourges, and were richly rewarded by their crazy patron Jean, duke of Berry, a royal prince of France. Their masterpieces are therefore called Les Belles Heures and Les Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. They are two of the worlds most valuable books, created for the private enjoyment of a happy few and tucked away in castles and palaces for generations.
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Screenwriter & director: Peter van der Heijden
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This film is produced with support from The Limbourg Brothers Foundation and Museum Het Valkhof (Nijmegen, Netherlands) and realized in collaboration with The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Sherman Fairchild Center for Works on Paper and Photograph Conservation (New York), Musée Condé (Chantilly) and Faksimile Verlag Luzern.