Medieval Art: October in Les Tres Riches Heures

October, the month of tilling and sowing, is represented along the left bank of the Seine, viewed from the vicinity of the Hôtel de Nesle, the Duc de Berry’s Paris residence. Dominating the background is a detailed representation of the Louvre of Charles V, the brother of the Duc de Berry.
At center soars the Tour du Louvre, tower of the dungeon built by Philippe Auguste, where the royal treasury was stored.  To the right is the Tour de la Taillerie, then the  twin towers of the eastern facade. To the left is the Tour de la Grande Chapelle, followed by the southern facade, also with double towers.
An enceinte marked by the towers and machicolated balconies stretches along the Seine in front of the château, with  a postern gate at lower left. Tiny figures stroll on the quai, where steps lead to the river, giving access to the boats.
In the foreground, across the Seine in the fields bordering the left bank, a peasant in blue sows seeds from a white cloth pouch. A bag of grain lies behind him, and birds peck at the newly sown seeds.
At  left, a second peasant is shown mounted upon a horse, pulling a harrow upon which a heavy stone has been placed to make it penetrate more deeply into the earth. A scarecrow dressed as an archer can be glimpsed behind.

In the tympanum are the signs for Libra, Scorpio, and the sun chariot.


2 thoughts on “Medieval Art: October in Les Tres Riches Heures

  1. I remember studying this book in my Northern Renaissance art class – I love the colors, they are so vivid. I am totally blown away by the artistic talent.

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