The Tres Riches Heures in Conversation

I really appreciated seeing the calendar months from Tres Riches Heures projected side by side in succession. Seeing the months next to each other as they would have been invites comparison and a conversation between the two. I realized that it was almost always an alternating presentation of the nobility/aristocrats and then the peasants save for a few exceptions. This thus allowed us to see both groups in wealth, prosperity, and happiness and there were always subtle unifying elements in the works that encouraged such a likeness to be brought to mind. For example, in the months of May and June:

The angle of the castle sloping in the background of June (on the right)  mimics the procession of nobles heading to their summer palace to go hunting. The two complement each other as our eyes naturally follow both scenes from the right to the left where it disappears beyond the frame suggestive of the expansive lands belonging to Duc de Berry. To match the predominantly green scene of June, some of the nobles depicted in May have also been clothed in green. Similarly, the peasants in the foreground of June have been clothed the dark beautiful blue to match the rich robes of the nobility. The religious motif is present in both with the crossing of the trumpets in the month of May and the church depicted in June.

Just as interacting with the physical books last Wednesday added the additional dimension of sensory understanding, seeing the two calendar months next to each other enriched the meaning of  each. The similarities that could be drawn between the two emphasized the highly romanticized depiction of the peasants that follows our discussion of the calendar meant to pamper the Duke’s vanity.

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