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Jean, Duc de Berry's Book of Hours- October


This month, the Tres Riches Houres shows us a scene of country life outside the walls of Paris, specifically from the vicinity of the Hotel de Nesle, the Duc de Berry's residence within the city.

For the image of October, the Limborge brothers depict the imposing towers of the Louvre, built by the Duc de Berry's brother, King Charles V, as seen from the windows of the Duke's hotel. In the middle the imposing dungeon built by Philippe Auguste. This dungeon, commonly called the Tour du Louvre, symbolized the power of the crown: from here the king granted appanages were granted and the royal treasure was housed. Only three of the great corner towers can be seen, each with its own poetic name: to the left is the Tour de la Grande Chapelle and the double towers of southern facade, while to the right is the Tour de la Taillerie, followed by the eastern facade, which is also protected by twin towers.

In the foreground, a peasant wearing a blue tunic sows seeds that he carries in a white cloth pouch. Behind him, a flock of birds peck away at his freshly sewn seeds, largely ignoring the scarecrow, dressed as an archer. A bag of grain lies on the ground behind him. To the sower's left, a mounted peasant draws a "harrow", a sledge weighted with stone to turn the earth.

In the background, a the rider is wearing a red tunic or possibly a cotte along with a black hood wrapped into a chaperone as well as belt, pouch and tall riding boots.

For the lover of clothing, October is a quiet scene, as the better dressed people are painted as very small background figures strolling outside the walls. But for the architect, the details of the lost Louvre is so precise that even centuries after its destruction, a model was made possible thanks largely to the Limbourgs' painting.


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