The "sensual experience" of the "Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry"

For many years, visitors to the Cloisters in New York were treated to a glimpse of one of the museum's most precious artifacts, the Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry, a 14th century manuscript, opened to only one page. Now, with the book unbound, they can gaze at all all 172 illuminations. (photos)

The work, which "transformed reading and prayer into intensely visual and sensual experiences." will be on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through June 13, 2010 as part of “The Art of Illumination: The Limbourg Brothers and the Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry.” Karen Rosenburg of the New York Times, describes the exhibit and the lavish work of Herman, Paul and Jean de Limbourg, three teenage brothers who created the Book of Hours.