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.


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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