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)