The Golf Book (Book of Hours)

The Golf Book (Book of Hours) f. 20r, calendar, February

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f. 20r, calendar, February

The bottom of the border shows a series of children depicted in grisaille playing with a hoop. Some fight over it or incorporate a child running through it into the game, whilst others have stopped playing to urinate (f. 20r). The cheeky subject of a boy urinating also appears in a drollery in a mid-fourteenth-century, Franco-Flemish codex by Jacques de Longuyon, Vœux du Paon (New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, Glazier 24, f. 103v), and was presented by Gerard Horenbout in another context in the Grimani Breviary (f. 2v) and by Simon Bening too, in the Hennessy Hours (f. 1v).
Above a medallion on the right of f. 20r is a cartouche with the word “pisces”. In the middle is a sea monster similar to a cetacean with a huge mouth, blowing water through its jaws and blowhole, in the centre of a body of water with a conventional landscape of small trees – bluish because of the overhead perspective – in the background. This totally imaginary and picturesque manner of depicting the zodiacal constellation differs from the more or less usual typology to be found in books of hours and other manuscripts.

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