Chopping Wood


  • Intro

    This image shows a labourer chopping wood in January, and comes from a manuscript known as the Golf Book, which is famous for its lively depictions of sports and pastimes. Only parts of the original manuscript survive, including the calendar which is exhibited here.


    The calendars of prayer books from this time show the way that people measured out the year by the movement of the heavens, by religious saints and feast days and also according to the seasons and agricultural cycle. Images in calendars often show labourers pruning vines (March), reaping wheat (July) or knocking acorns from oak trees for pigs (October) that are later slaughtered (November). In other months, we see the wealthy enjoying the fruits of this labour, for example feasting (January) or indulging in leisure activities. In April, gentlemen are sometimes shown hawking, and in May elegantly dressed lovers are shown strolling in a meadow.

  • Video

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