The collections of Jean, duke of Berry (1340-1416) – Vastari Online Journal – January 2013

Hans Holbein
Jean de Berry in Prayer,
after a statue of the same figure from the Sainte-Chapelle, Bourges.
Circa 1523-4.
Black and coloured chalk, 39.6 × 27.5 cm.
Basel, Kunstmuseum.

I have written an article for Vastari, an exciting new online association with a scholarly focus on collecting and patronage across the centuries;

Jean, duke of Berry, count of Poitou, Auvergne and Estampes, was son, brother, and uncle, to three successive kings of France. Born in 1340 in the royal chateau of Vincennes, situated in the dense hunting forests outlying Paris to the east, he lived a long life, dying at the age of 76 in his Parisian residence, the Hôtel Saint Pol. He became regent of France on two occasions, alongside his younger brother Philip the Bold; firstly when his nephew king Charles VI was too young to govern the country, and latterly when the same monarch fell into successive bouts of insanity at the end of the century. These snatched moments of power were largely diplomatic, and he failed to make much of an effect on the fiscal and political direction of the state. Instead, it is the legacy of Berry’s collecting habits that has been passed down through history. His was a singularly obsessive program of acquisition of some of the most richly made and decorated objects that survive from the late medieval period. Read more…

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