Happy Birthday, Duc; too bad about the boar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I go to a museum I always wonder what the people staring at paintings are seeing. My museum style is to get through as quickly as possible, except when I’m with my artist friend Tina, who explains to me what she sees.

Today, though, I feel quite proud of myself – I can see that these two Très Riches Heures illustrations were painted by two different artists (Jean Columbe painted November; and the Limbourg brothers, who also painted both tympana, did December).

I’m including both here not just to show off, but because today is the Duc de Berry’s birthday, and he was born in December’s castle – the Château de Vincennes. Here I will also confess that I’ve been relying on commentary by one Michael Olteanu for all the Heures illustrations, since I really am quite hopeless without Tina, and I think this is hilarious:

The boar has been run down and speared by the huntsman on the left, and hounds are tearing it apart. . . This scene . . . completes the year in an appropriate setting and time, recalling the birth of the Duc de Berry.

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