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Rural life: the lazy ploughman

c.1300

Rural life: the lazy ploughman

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  • Intro

    It is possible to catch glimpses of rural life painted on the pages of medieval manuscripts. But it must be remembered that such images were almost always made for the wealthy few who commissioned these manuscripts. The images therefore reflect their views of country life rather than the experiences of those lower down the social scale. 

     

    This image from a beautiful 13th-century manuscript made in Paris, shows a lazy ploughman who represents the idea of idleness. The ploughman is asleep by a tree, as his team and plough sit idle. Below, the idea of labour is represented by a sower scattering seed, who is visually likened to the powerful David in the act of hurling a stone at Goliath.

     

    Shelfmark: Add. 54180 f.121v

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