Stundenbuch von Heinrich VIII.

Stundenbuch von Heinrich VIII. October. Sowing and Ploughing, f. 5v


October. Sowing and Ploughing, f. 5v

In October the winter wheat is sown. The man on the right plows his field with a team of white horses. The man at left sows the field with grain from his apron.

Poyer has treated this scene perspectivally in a manner similar to that of his January miniature. Here, however, the center perspectival delineation lies to the far left of the composition: an invisible vertical line runs straight back, perpendicular to the picture frame, from the sowing man’s right foot to the house in the background, the façade of which is also parallel to the picture plane. The space fans rightward from this line.

In the left margin are Sts. Remigius, dressed as a bishop with cope, miter, and crosier (October 1), and Francis, receiving the stigmata (October 4, in red). They are followed by two bishop saints of whom one is undoubtedly supposed to represent Cerbonius (October 10). These two are followed by Pope Calixtus (October 14). The right margin begins with a bishop saint without attribute. Next is a figure who is probably meant to represent Luke the Evangelist (October 18, in blue). Following him are the Apostle Simon, holding a club with which he was beaten to death, and the Apostle Jude, the last figure in the border, holding a book (their joint feast is on October 28, in red). The figure between the two apostles is the thirteenth-century St. Ivo, dressed as a lawyer and shown is discussion with Jude (his translation is on October 27).

The zodiacal sign is Scorpio, the Scorpion.

Roger S. Wieck.
Curator, Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts
The Morgan Library & Museum

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