Puzzle of

Les Trés Riches Heures: Septembre

The Labour of the Months: September. The grape harvest at the Château de Saumur.

The top part of this image was created by the Limbourg brothers, who all died in an epidemic in 1416, along with the Duc de Berry himself. The bottom section was completed by Jean Colombe in 1485-90. Colombe’s peasants are much clunkier and more “humorous” than the Limbourgs’ — note especially the peasant in the center, flashing his butt hilariously at the viewer, and the one on the left stuffing his face with grapes. Also note that none of the peasants’ clothes are visibly torn or ragged — the Limbourgs were unusual in showing such realistic details of poverty.

I have no idea how the pregnant peasant woman on the left is supposed to be regarded — is she supposed to look slutty? Or madonna-like?

The castle itself is shown in sharp, fairy-tale-like detail, rising imposingly above the workers. A modern aerial view shows the star-shaped fortifications added later, during the gunpowder age.

Source: Public domain: From the Labors of the Months section of the Trés Riches Heures of Jean, Duc du Berry.

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