Labours of the Months  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The term Labours of the Months refers to cycles in Medieval and early Renaissance art depicting in twelve scenes the rural activities that commonly took place in the months of the year. They are often linked to the signs of the Zodiac, and are seen as humankind's response to God's ordering of the Universe.

The Labours of the Months are frequently found as part of large sculptural schemes on churches, and in illuminated manuscripts, especially in the Calendars of late medieval Books of Hours. The manuscripts are important for the development of landscape painting, containing most of the first painting where this was given prominence. The most famous cycle is that painted in the early 15th century by Hermann, Pol and Johan de Limbourg in Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. In the 16th century, late in the history of the theme, Simon Bening produced especially fine cycles which link the Limbourgs with the landscape paintings of Peter Breughel the Elder.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Labours of the Months" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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