The Isabella Breviary

The Isabella Breviary f. 1v, January


f. 1v, January

Aquarius, the water carrier, pouring water into an icy river below; a landscape snow scene with two men in cloaks walking toward a large house in which a man is warming himself by the fire, and a woman laying a table with food. The scene of a man (or a woman) warming by the fire and being served at table is very widespread, and men walking in the snow, is also common in Flemish calendar pictures of the time. The man warming himself by the fire goes back to the thirteenth century as a subject for January. Quite often he is sitting at the table by the fire eating his meal and drinking, with a woman serving, and this is a frequent subject in late fifteenth-century French calendars as well as Flemish. Snow scenes had on occasion been used for both January and February since the early fifteenth century, most famously in the February scene in the Très Riches Heures of the Duke of Berry.

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