The Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry

The Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry Fol. 12v - December

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Fol. 12v - December

Barthélemy d'Eyck

The chariot of the Sun passes from Sagitarius to Capricorn. Instead of the normal scene of the killing of a pig (a traditional manner of representing December in calendras) we see a boar hunt concluding on an open stretch of land with the hallalì or kill. An attendant at the hunt, armed with a pike, sounds his horn to announce thet the bulldogs and bloodhounds have killed the boar. Another attendant (in livery) tugs at the lead of a bloodhound or St Hubert's hound. Behind the wood and its yellow foliage, we see the square towers and keep of the castle of Vincennes: this is the only part of the illumination that appears to be by the Limbourg brothers; the rest is by Barthélemy d'Eyck (based, perhaps, on a sketch by the Limbourgs). In the album of sketches of Giovannino de' Grassi (Bergamo, Biblioteca Civica, C.1.21, fol.17v), we see dogs assailing their prey. However, this latter work displays none of the coherence or liveliness of the pack of hounds in the Très Riches Heures. These works are both clearly inspired by a shared model (perhaps a Lombard mural work of the late 14th century).

 

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