DNA and protein analysis of fifteenth-century parchment


Dr Hanneke van Asperen

Time frame

February 2022 – January 2023

Project description

The project was prompted by the identification of sheets with a border decoration corresponding to the famous Belles Heures in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Produced in early fifteenth century by the same border painter, these sheets possibly belonged to the library of Duke Jean de Berry who also employed the praised Van Lymborch brothers. The purpose is to find out more about the provenance of these illuminated leaves using digital reconstruction and art historical analysis. In addition, innovative technology of DNA and protein analysis will be used to learn about the parchment. For the material technical research, Wageningen University & Research and Naturalis have joined forces. Additional goal of the project is to work out the possibilities of the new techniques for medieval manuscript research in the Netherlands.


Belles Heures, DNA analysis, protein analysis, medieval parchment


NWO, museum grant


  • Wageningen University & Research
  • Naturalis


Dr Hanneke van Asperen,