The Hours of Charles of Angoulême

The Hours of Charles of Angoulême Calendar: November (f. 6r)


Calendar: November (f. 6r)

Pig slaughter and sticking

The second image in the diptych about rearing domestic pigs, the month of November under the sign of Sagittarius, depicts the pig being slaughtered. Salting or smoking could preserve pork for a long time, as a result of which pork was the meat eaten most, even more than lamb or beef.

The pig sticking is depicted in quite a timeless, neutral indoor setting reminiscent of the July scene, with a masonry wall delimiting the scene to the rear. The floor features alternating pale blue and salmon pink tiles in an attempt to give the scene a sense of perspective. Because the pig has not been stunned beforehand, the peasant has lain it on its right side and pinned its left rear leg down with his own leg, and its left front leg with his hand. He plunges his knife into the pig’s throat, severing its jugular vein and carotid artery. The blood drains out and the animal quickly dies. The blood, used to make black pudding, is collected by the female peasant in a long-handled pan which she holds firmly in one hand whilst stirring the blood with a spatula to stop it coagulating.

Maxcence Hermant
Bibliothèque nationale de France

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