THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Medieval manuscripts blog

02 April 2012

A Calendar Page for April 2012

For more details on calendar pages or the Hours of Joanna of Castile, please see the entry for January 2012.

Add 18852 ff. 4v-5

Calendar pages for April, Hours of Joanna of Castile, Bruges, between 1496 and 1506, Additional 18852, ff. 4v-5

This opening for April contains two separate but connected scenes that celebrate the arrival of spring.  On the left are some shepherds with their flock; one is at work shearing while another guides the sheep into a paddock (and we would welcome ideas about what the man in the centre is doing).  At the top of the right hand folio is a small painting of Taurus the bull.  Below, a woman holding a spindle stands with a well-dressed man; the courting theme is continued by another couple on horseback, who seem much more interested in each other than in where their horses are headed.

Comments

The chap in the broad-brimmed hat? Are we sure he's a shepherd? I saw the staff and the bag and thought `pilgrim' immediately. In which case, may he be lost? He looks lost. There's probably good reasons why these are all anachronistic suggestions, but they are at least suggestions...

Well, I must say he looks rather like he is blowing his nose.

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