Tuesday, 27 March 2012

March: Peasants at Work on a Feudal Estate by Limbourg brothers

March: Peasants at Work on a Feudal Estate by the Limbourg Brothers
Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry
? on vellum, 22 x 13.5 cm
Musee Conde, Chantilly, France

I've got just a few days left to find landscapes of the countryside in March.  This is the third Spring Landscape in the current series.

Spring is a time of new beginnings and the perennial occupation of ploughing fields and sowing seed. However I'm not sure current farm machinery has quite the appeal of the ox-drawn plough in this painting of peasants at work in March by the Dutch Limbourg Brothers.

It's part of the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry.  This book is widely regarded to be a sumpreme example of manuscript illumination. It's also said to be the archetype of the International Gothic style.
Its most original and beautiful feature is the series of twelve full-page illustrations of the months - the first time a calendar was so lavishly treated - full of exquisite ornamentation and beautifully observed naturalistic detail.Web Gallery of Art - Limbourg brothers
It's thought to be one of the most valuable books in the world. 

It is kept as Ms.65 in The Musée Condé - in English, the Condé Museum - which is located inside the Château de Chantilly in Chantilly, Oise, 40 km north of Paris.

The Limbourg brothers are said to play an important part on the development of the landscape painting in northern Europe.  It's thought at least one of the brothers visited Italy and brought back notions of how space is best rendered.

I'll say more about the book and the brothers as the year unfolds.

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