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by Casandra Barragan-Melendez

When you are surrounded Baylor Libraries by books in a library, what is it about a book that makes you want to grab it?

Maybe you were already looking for a specific category or one recommended by a friend, but what if that is not the case? Doesn't that narrow it down to basic looks- if it’s old or new, colorful or dull?

I’m pretty sure that a book with one-of-a-kind artworks from the 15th century would grab your attention.

Casandra with rare booksThe Très Riches Heures is an illuminated manuscript of the Book of Hours, a prayer book popular in the Middle Ages. The book was specifically made for Jean Duc de Berry, illustrated by the Limborg Brothers. Jean Duc de Berry spent his early life studying the construction of important buildings. He eventually encouraged other field artists to illuminate manuscripts as his passion changed. The Limbourg brothers are Pol, Jan, and Herman (Pol is known as the master of the group). They were well known for their international gothic art style of the 15th century.
The Très Riches Heures has psalms, lessons, hymns, responses, prayers, and antiphons. It also contains a calendar representing activities that surrounded the duke and his castle in the town of Mehun-sur-Yevre.

Casandra with book of hoursIt is one of the most well-preserved books of that century and it has examples of first attempts to modern landscape and sectioning the months of seasons.
Although the Limborg brothers did most of the illuminations, they died 1416 and never finished the book. Unfortunately that was the same year Jean Duc de Berry died, without enough money to pay for his funeral since it all went to his art collection. One of Duc de Berry's two daughters married Amadeus VII, Count of Savoy. Amedeus’s direct descendent, the Duc Charles I of Savoy inherited the Très Riches Heures. In late August 1485, Duc Charles I payed Jean Colombe 25 gold ecues to finish the illuminations.

If you would like to visit the Central Libraries Special Collections to view this treasure (Polk Oversize ND3363.B5 M8 2010) or find other inspirations, please visit the Special Collections website

These rare materials are available for anyone; and with over 10,000 items, we know we can find something that can illuminate your passion. We look forward to working with you!

Casandra work

Many thanks to Casandra for creating a beautiful hand-painted illumination for Baylor Libraries. Thank you also to Waco High School, Prosper Waco and many Baylor Libraries peoples who helped pull this important initiative together!
Beth Farwell
Andrea Turner
Vance Woods