Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Calendar Pages for October

Here in California, with our balmy climate (and continuing drought), these illuminations of winter to come are not something to be felt in a realistic way. Plus we are city dwellers so the medieval rhythm of agriculture is as far from us as earth is from the moon.

But for the illuminators of these pages, this life was real, present and very important. Summer may have been over, but farm work never ended.

On the opening folio is a roundel miniature of a man scattering grain in a plowed field.  Behind him are some turreted buildings and a bridge, while above, some hopeful birds are circling.   On the facing folio is a small painting of an ominous-looking scorpion, for the zodiac sign Scorpio.  Below, a tired man is heading home from his labors in the field, carrying a bag on his shoulders.  His dog is bounding before him, and swans can be seen swimming in the river beside.



--> Calendar page for October, with a roundel miniature of a man sowing grain, from the Huth Hours, Netherlands (Bruges or Ghent?), c. 1480, Add MS 38126, f. 10v 


--> Calendar page for October, with a roundel miniature of a man heading home after his work is done, with the zodiac sign Scorpio, from the Huth Hours, Netherlands (Bruges or Ghent?), c. 1480, Add MS 38126, f. 11r  (images and text courtesy of Sarah Brigs, British Library). -->

Huth Hours: http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/FullDisplay.aspx?ref=Add_MS_38126

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