MS H.8, fols. 3v–4r

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June: Mowing
July: Reaping

Hours of Henry VIII
Illuminated by Jean Poyer

France, Tours
ca. 1500
256 x 180 mm

Gift of the Heineman Foundation, 1977

MS H.8, fols. 3v–4r

June: Mowing (fol. 3v)

Summer's hard labors begin in June with the mowing of the hay.

Three men rhythmically attack the field with large scythes.

Two women rake the loose hay into stacks. Behind them, a wagon waits to be filled. In the foreground at the right are the workers' bundles of food and casks of drink.

On the right border are Sts. John the Baptist (feast of his Nativity on June 24), Eligius (June 25), a generic male saint, and Peter and Paul (June 29). The zodiacal sign is Cancer, the Crab.

July: Reaping (fol. 4)

The summer harvest continues in July with the reaping of the wheat. Four men, minimally dressed to keep cool, carefully cut the stalks with sickles and lay them in neat bundles. As in June, the foreground features, in the manner of a still life, their containers of food and drink.

Border: At the right are Sts. Margaret, shown emerging from the dragon (July 20), Mary Magdalene, holding her ointment jar (July 22), Christopher, carrying Christ on his back (feast on July 25, but indicated here on July 23), James, as a pilgrim (July 25), and Anne instructing the Virgin (July 26). The zodiacal sign is Leo, the Lion.