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Les Tres Riches Heures

Labors of the Winter Months

Calendar Descriptions of the Winter Months

The Duc at Table.  Labors of the Months from the Book of Hours of the Duc de Berry, January

January: The Duc de Berry at Table

Pol de Limbourg has drawn the prince's portrait. A chamberlain, who may be recognized by his staff and chain, is telling a hesitant man to advance. An object of the goldsmith's art, placed on the right, is in the form of a ship: It is the Salt-Cellar of the Pavilion, which was an item in the Duc de Berry's collection and was listed on the inventory of his estate after his decease. At the left, a sideboard bears further pieces in gold. Two puppies are walking along the table among the viands, and in the background, a tapestry, its colors still bright, represents a battle among the scenes of which are written explanatory inscriptions.

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The Village Under the Snow.  Labors of the Months from the Book of Hours of the Duc de Berry, February

February: The Village Under the Snow

Here are scenes of rural life, with a farm and its implements as setting. In the background is a village with its steeple, and it is worth noting that the laws of perspective are closely observed, and this at a period when painters were not always successful at doing so.

Rustic life in wintertime is evoked with striking truth by the peasant leading a donkey along the Blvd. to the village, another felling a tree, and a third who seems to be shivering as he returns to the farm where the farmer and two servants are warming themelves by a fire; it is evoked too by the rows of beehives, the fagots on the ground, the upended casts and the birds looking for grain in the farmyard.

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The Chateau de Lusignan.  Labors of the Months from the Book of Hours of the Duc de Berry, March

March: The Chateau de Lusignan

Peasants are trimming the vines and tilling the soil. The details of the chateau's construction are accurate, each tower and portal may be identified. Over the Poitou tower is a winged dragon, the fairy Mélusine, who is "coming back through the air to her husband, Ramondin." This chateau was the birthplace of the Plantagenets and La Rouchefoucaulds, and it was one of the Duc de Berry's favorite residences.

Source: Verve, the French Review of Art, No 7, Vol 2, April-July 1940. Text by Henri Malo. Small bits of quoted French were translated by me.

Book of Hours Art Print Informaton

The Book of Hours winter months: January, February, March

January, February, March

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The Book of Hours prints come on 11 x 17 cotton rag paper in soft white with archival inks. Soft white is white but the paper has not been treated with bleaches or chemicals that would accelerate the paper's deterioration over time. Without comparison to other whites, it looks white. If you place it next to a brilliant white mass-market print, it will look slightly more cream.

Pricing

Book of Hours Prints are $91 each, plus shipping.

You can also purchase all three Winter Months together.

You can pay by credit card or use your Paypal account.

The Other Months

Descriptions and links to purchase the other months are here:

Book of Hours Tiles and Additional Background

You can find Book of Hours Tiles, a more extensive discussion of the individual months, a bestiary, unicorn tapestries, and other medieval art at William Morris Tile