Jean Duc du Berry
Very little remains to celebrate Bourges most famous ruler. Jean, Duc du Berry, was the brother of King Charles V and was the richest and most cultured member of his family. His father Jean II (le Bon) was of similar nature. The son was exchanged as a hostage to the English who had captured the father. When this was resolved in the 1340’s he settled in Berry and began his career of assembling collections of fine tapestries and other works of Art (somewhat in competition with his other brothers in Burgundy and Anjou.). The most famous item is his “book” of miniatures “Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry”, primarily ones by the Limbourg brothers, now minimally exhibited in the museum at Chantilly, items from it present in all Art History Books. (The picture here is from the month of January and shows the Duc at Table exchanging gifts on New Year’s Day. There is a military tapestry on the back wall). He had an elaborate tomb made (modeled after brother Philippe’s tomb in Dijon) by Jean de Cambrai, but it was destroyed in the 18C. The original effigy is in the Crypt of the Cathedral and other parts in the Palace of Jacques Coeur.