February Fill-Dyke » February Activity: Warming Before the Fire

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February Activity: Warming Before the Fire

Here, the month of February is represented by a prosperous householder, well-wrapped against the cold and wearing a fur hat, warming himself before the fire blazing (and smoking profusely) in the hearth, while his supper cooks on a grate (Timothy B. Husband, The Art of Illumination: The Limbourg Brothers and the Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry, 2008).

Winter calendar scenes are usually set indoors, unlike those proper to spring and summer. While the activities proper to the season in medieval tradition were conventionalized and progressed from the winter’s rest to the return to work on the land in spring, variations do occur, both in the activity represented and in the month which it represents. This is to be expected, given the different geographic and climatic circumstances under which various Books of Hours were produced.

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