Books of Hours: A Comparison of Calendar Iconography

The table below compares the “labors of the seasons” iconography in the calendar sections of books of hours and related artwork. The works themselves are arranged chronologically.

See also the Center for Håndskriftstudier i Danmark tutorial on books of hours, The Medieval Bestseller: Illuminated Books of Hours, Picturing Prayer: Books of Hours in the Houghton Library, Harvard University, and A Hypertext Book of Hours. The Getty also has a video on the medieval calendar.


JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
The Hunterian Psalter
Glasgow Univ. Library MS Hunter 229
c. 1170
1r 1v 2r 2v 3r 3v 4r 4v 5r 5v 6r 6v
The Fécamp Psalter
Koninklijke Bibliotheek 76 F 13
c. 1180
1v 2v 3v 4v 5v 6v 7v 8v 9v 10v 11v 12v
Psalter
St. John’s College MS K.30
c. 1190-1200
1r 1v 2r 2v 3r 3v 4r 4v 5r 5v 6r 6v
Reliefs on the main portal of St. Mark's in Venice
mid-13th century
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Psalter
ÖNB 1898
c. 1265-1275
1r 2r 3r 4r 5r 6r 7r 8r 9r 10r 11r 12r
The Queen Mary Psalter
British Library MS Royal 2 B VII
1310-1320
71v/72 72v/73 73v/74 74v/75 75v/76 76v/77 77v/78 78v/79 79v/80 80v/81 81v/82 82v/83
The Taymouth Hours
British Library MS Yates Thompson 13
c. 1325-1335
1 1v 2 2v 3 3v 4 4v 5 5v 6 6v
The Petites Heures of Jean de Berry
Bibliothèque Nationale de France MS Latin 18014
c. 1375
32 36bis 40 44v 49 54v 59v 64v 69v 74v 79v 84
Breviari d'Amour
British Library MS Yates Thompson 31
Last quarter of the 14th century
73 73v 74 74v 75
Book of Hours
Schloss Weissenstein cod. 351
c. 1401-1433
1 1v-2 2v-3 3v-4 4v-5 5v-6 6v-7 7v-8 8v-9 9v-10 10v-11 11v-12
Frescoes at the Castello Buonconsiglio
1405-1410
Jan Feb Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
The Hours of René d’Anjou
British Library Egerton 1070
c. 1410
6 6v 7 7v 8 8v 9 9v 10 10v 11 11v
Book of Hours from northern France
c. 1410-1420
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
The Tres Riches Heures of the Duc de Berry
Musée Condé MS 65
c. 1412-1416
2r 2v 3v 4v 5v 6v 7v 8v 9v 10v 11v 12v
The Hours of Marguerite d'Orléans
Bibliothèque Nationale de France MS Latin 1156 B
c. 1426
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Epinay Family Book of Hours
Bibliothèque Municipale de Rennes MS 33
c. 1426-1450
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
The Dunois Hours
British Library MS Yates Thompson 3
c. 1440-1450 (after 1436)
1 2 3 4 4v-5 9
Book of hours
Morgan Library MS M.358
c. 1440-1450
1r 2r 3r 4r 5r 6r 7r 8r 9r 10r 11r 12r
The Hours of Simon de Varie
Nationale Bibliotheek van Nederland MS 74 G 37 & 74 G 37a
c. 1455
88r 89r 90r 91r 92r 93r 94r 95r 96r 97r 98r 99r
The Hours of Adélaïde de Savoie
Musée Condé MS 76
c. 1460-1465
1r-1v 2r-2v 3r-3v 4r-4v 5r-5v 6r-6v 7r-7v 8r-8v 9r-9v 10r-10v 11r-11v 12r-12v
Biblia Pauperum
ÖNB 3085
1475
1r 2r 3r 4r 5r 6r 7r 8r 9r 10r 11r
The Allegories of the Months: Frescoes at the Palazzo Schifanoia
c. 1476-1484
Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep
The Hours of Guillermus Enlart
Bibliothèque Mazarine MS 502
c. 1475-1499
1 2 3 4 5 6 8 9 10 11 12 13
The Hours of Charles d’Angoulême
Bibliothèque Nationale de France MS Latin 1173
c. 1475-1500
1r 1v 2r 2v 3r 3v 4r 4v 5r 5v 6r 6v
The Book of Hours of Sir John Donne
Université Catholique de Louvain MS A2
c. 1480-1489
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Frescoes at the Church of the Holy Trinity, Hrastovlje, Slovenia
1490
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
The Grimani Breviary
Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, cod. Lat I, 99
c. 1490-1510
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Hours of Henry VIII
Morgan Library MS H. 8
c. 1500
1 1v 2 2v 3 3v 4 4v 5 5v 6 6v
Book of hours
British Library MS King’s 9
c. 1500
2v-3 3v-4 4v-5 5v-6 6v-7 7v-8 8v-9 9v-10 10v-11 11v-12 12v-13 13v-14
The Petites Heures of Anne of Brittany
Bibliothèque Nationale de France Nouvelle Acquisition Latine 3027
c. 1499-1514
1r 1v 2r 2v 3r 3v 4r 4v 5r 5v 6r 6v
The Great Hours of Anne of Brittany
Bibliothèque Nationale de France MS Latin 9474
c. 1503-1508
4r 5r 6r 7r 8r 9r 10r 11r 12r 13r 14r 15r
Book of hours
British Library MS Egerton 1147
c. 1500-1515
6/6v 9v 10 11v
Da Costa Hours
Morgan Library MS 399
c. 1515
2v-3 3v-4 4v-5 5v-6 6v-7 7v-8 8v-9 9v-10 10v-11 11v-12 12v-13 13v-14
The Golf Book
British Library MS Add. 24098
c. 1520-1530
18v-19r 19v-20r 20v-21r 21v-22r 22v-23r 23v-24r 24v-25r 25v-26r 26v-27r 27v-28r 28v-29r 29v-30r
Die Augsburger Monatsbilder
1520s
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Hennessy Hours
Bibliothèque Royale Albert ler MS H, 158
c. 1530-1540
1v-2r 2v-3r 3v-4r 4v-5r 5v-6r 6v-7r 7v-8r 8v-9r 9v-10r 10v-11r 11v-12r 12v-13r
Labors of the Months, c. 1580 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
The Tres Riches Heures of Jean, Duke of Berry - c. 1412-1416 The Bedford Hours - c. 1414-1423 The Bedford Hours: The Making of a Medieval Masterpiece The Spitz Master: A Parisian Book of Hours - c. 1420 The Rohan Master: A Book of Hours - c. 1430-1435 The Hours of Catherine of Cleves - c. 1440 The Gualenghi dEste Hours: Art and Devotion in Renaissance Ferrara - 1469 The Sforza Hours - c. 1490 The Master of Mary of Burgundy: A Book of Hours for Engelbert of Nassau - c. 1475-1500 The Hastings Hours - c. 1480 A Masterpiece Reconstructed: The Hours of Louis XII - c. 1498 The Hours of Henry VIII: A Renaissance Masterpiece by Jean Poyet - c. 1500 A Treasury of Hours: Selections from Illuminated Prayer Books Book of Hours (Treasures from the Huntington Library) Illumination from Books of Hours (British Library) Book of Hours: Illuminations by Simon Marmion Painted Prayers: The Book of Hours in Medieval and Renaissance Art Books of Hours