Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry

Saint Matthew

Folio 18v

Between the large miniatures of Saints John and Mark, the Limbourgs represented the other two Evangelists in small illuminations the width of one written column.
An illustrated extract from Luke is followed by Saint Matthew's description of the Adoration of the Magi, beginning: "When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of king Herod, behold, there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem... " (Matthew II: 1)
We sup- pose the Limbourgs illustrated this text with the appropriate Evangelist, although the ox above the miniature is usually an attribute of Saint Luke.
Matthew is shown against an archaic background of blue camaïeu. He is characterized by a flowing white beard and hair. Inspired by the Holy Ghost, in the form of a dove, he sits on a high-backed chair in the arm of which is an inkstand into which he dips his pen to write on a desk.
Before him a small table is crowned by a statue of a prophet similar to that of Moses in the Annunciation from the Belles Heures (folio 30r). On the right we see a ch&acitc;teau atop a hill, which stands out against the blue background of foliage.

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