Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry - October

By the Limbourg Brothers

Revised 5 December 1996

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[October] October is the month for sowing, which is depicted in this painting. The figure in the foreground is rather lazily planting seeds, which the birds find most beneficial I'm sure. The castle in the background is the Palais de l'Institut, which is now the Leuvre. Archaeologists have discovered the foundations of the building depicted here under the more modern structure at the site now. It is interesting to note that the horse plowing the fields, while exquisitely painted, is not painted correctly. The position of the legs is incorrect. Horses never walk by moving the legs on one side of the body, then the other side, as depicted here. They walk with alternating steps (i.e. left front, right rear or right front, left rear).

It is possible that October was not painted by the Limbourg Brothers. Luciano Bellosi and Eberhard Konig believe that October could not have been painted before 1440-1450. They base this judgment on details of costume, outlines, shadows, and reflections cast by figures. Who knows?

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