Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry


Folio 6v

It is harvest time; scantily clad peasants wearing hats mow the wide meadow in unison. Every detail of the operation is carefully observed and rendered. The freshly mown area stands out brightly against the untouched grass, and the already fading shocked hay is still different in color. In the foreground two women rake and stack the hay. The grace, one might even say the elegance, imparted by the fragility and flexibility of these simply dressed reapers is typical of the mixture of perception and charm that characterizes the Limbourgs' genius.
The view, from the Hôtel de Nesle (the Duc de Berry's Paris residence and the present site of the right wing of the Institut de France which now houses the Bibliothèque Mazarine) encompasses the fields on either side of the Seine and the inner facade of the Palais de la Citè.
The slate roofs of the Palais rise against a blue sky, providing a large dignified background for this rustic scene; the minutely recorded details of this interior facade are particularly precious.
We find ourselves before the buildings whose roofs were represented in the month of May: the corner pavilion, the Conciergerie towers, the Tour de I'Horloge, the double nave of the Grand Salle, the Tour Montgomery, and the Sainte-Chapelle in all its refined splendor.
Before this facade, we glimpse trees in a garden partially hidden by the enceinte. These walls terminate at the left in a curious door opening onto the Seine. A boat on the river bank completes this scene of the month of June, to which the artists imparted both rustic grace and grandeur.

small image (31KB) --- large image (225KB) --- detail (large) (213KB) --- Palais de la Cité (large) (201KB) --- Women gathering hay (large) (195KB) --- Men mowing hay (detail) (222KB)

Next folio --- Previous folio --- Return to index