Oh, the gorgeousness! The sumptuousness! Happy Medieval Monday 2023!
I love calendars. In our modern times, we have a vast and wonderful variety to choose from. But medieval calendars, illuminated medieval calendars? Mini-masterpieces.
Plenty of them, like the Duc de Berry's Très Riches Heures, were prayerbooks, but not all. A great many did include saints' days and church feasts. Like our calendars now, many reflected the season or time of year, the "labours" of each month. While doing a bit of research for this particular post, I was surprised to note the zodiac was often included right along with the saints. In Queen Isabella's breviary (first one below), the little naked guy top left is Aquarius.
Just in case you don't "hover", left to right are Isabella's Breviary, Joanna of Castile's Book of Hours, Jame's IV of Scotland's Book of Hours, and a foldable, Norwegian calendar that even notes what days are good and bad.
Knowing that it was all done by hand thrills me every time. Precise work, delicate work, surely tedious at times, all done for the glory of faith, art, or - let's face it - sometimes simply for the commission.
One thing I know for sure. It would be hard to find a newly hand-drawn, illuminated calendar nowadays.
Here's to you, Medieval Calendariographers!
Yes, I did have to look that up! :)
For more Medieval Monday, be sure to visit authors Mary Morgan and Barbara Bettis.
Wishing you a wonderful 2023!
I loved this post on medieval calendars, Anastasia! I can't even imagine the time these hand-written beauties took to complete. They're visual masterpieces. Happy Medieval Monday, my friend!
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