The Drawn Hours
When I wrote what was supposed to be a commentary to the Panini facsimile of the Très Riches Heures in 2010, only published three years later in German, I pleaded for the reinstatement of the drawings grouped under the name of the Master of St Jerome in the Van Limborch brothers’ corpus, and I dedicated the last part of my text on the Van Limborch brothers to them. These drawings were few: the eponymous portrait of St Jerome added after 1407 to the Bible moralisée, which is in my view the one duke Philip the Bold was having made in the years 1402-04; four marginalia in the Douce Hours completed by 1409; and seven illuminated pages of the so-called Psalter of Henry VI, largely overpainted. The Master of St Jerome seemed to me a mere name forged to apply to the drawings which are in the Van Limborch brothers’ style. If not, how to explain the more complex architectural settings depicted in the Très Riches Heures? They would be unprecedented in their art. However, the St Jerome drawings were few, twelve pages in all, so what a delightful surprise it was when in 2013 thirty more were revealed, and more than that: a whole Book of Hours, although unfinished [...]
I. Villela-Petit, « The Drawn Hours: A New Masterpiece by the Van Lymborch Brothers? », dans A. Stufkens et C. Verhoeven éd., Maelwael Van Lymborch Studies, t. 1, Turnhout, 2018, p. 64-83.
Looking for Paul van Lymborch
The archives distinguish with a certain constancy between painter and illuminator, even when the former is brought to paint miniatures in a book. As both mastered painting technics and used pigments in a flat surface, common knowledge tends to ignore their proper 'métier' and favor recognizing the hand whatever the medium. Can we therefore just consider that these trades were undifferentiated and the qualifier only correlated to the patron's order and wish? Are we dealing with a single profession, or two? And what kind of specificities can we notice in the practices and crafts? In our opinion, painterly qualities may distinguish the hand of Paul the painter among the Van Lymborch atelier and explain his personal success in the duke's esteem.
I. Villela-Petit, « Painter versus Illuminator. Looking for Paul van Lymborch », dans A. Stufkens et C. Verhoeven éd., Maelwael Van Lymborch Studies, t. 2, Turnhout, 2022, p. 128-159.