In day 9 of the Culture Tourist Art Blogmas 2020, we’re going to enjoy in a very special medieval book illustration – February from The Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, painted by Paul Limbourg.

Art Blogmas 2020

This illustration was a part of one of the most important medieval books – The Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. It’s painted mostly by the Limbourg brothers, between 1412 and 1416. After they died of, probably, the plague, the manuscript was finished by other artists later in the 15th century. However, all those artists came from the Low countries. So, the style of the illustration is rather consistent throughout the book.

Read more: Jan van Eyck at MSK in Ghent

Paul Limbourg: February

These kind of calendar images were very popular during the Middle Ages. They often represent labours of the months and peasants busy with the work in the field. Or, aristocrats hunting and enjoying in some other leisure activities typical for that time of the year.

It’s the same with our picture, representing the month of February. On the upper part of the image, we can see the calendar and the zodiac signs – showing the Aquarius and Pisces.

Below it are the peasants busy with work typical for winter. One of them is cutting down the tree with an axe. We can also see birds in the garden eating seeds.

An interesting activity is happening inside the house, as well. It seems as people are warming up their arms and legs. However, some of them don’t wear their underpants. Although the nudity may seem unusual for the religious book, surprisingly it wasn’t that uncommon back in that time.

If you don’t want to miss other paintings I’m going to share with you in this year’s Art Blogmas, be sure to check in here tomorrow at 7:30 am. Or, follow along on Culture Tourist Facebook page and Instagram profile.