As in the other calendar pages of the Belles Heures, the seasonal activity appropriate to the month appears within a quatrefoil frame at the top of the recto page and the appropriate zodiacal sign within a corresponding frame at the bottom.
The text in gold at the top notes that October has thirty-one solar days; blue ink is used to indicate that the month has thirty lunar days. The feasts proper to the month are recorded in a column below and continued on the verso of the folio. The saints’ days are listed in alternating red and blue ink. On the ninth, the feast of Saint Denis of Paris, a patron of France, is rendered in burnished gold, as are the feasts of Saint Luke the Evangelist on the eighteenth and Saints Simon and Jude, apostles and martyrs, on the twenty-eighth.
See the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History to learn more about manuscript illumination in Northern Europe, or see special exhibitions for information about the exhibition “The Art of Illumination: The Limbourg Brothers and the Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry” (on view at the Main Building March 2 through June 13, 2010).