May, from Les Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry

Better hurry, because today is already the 26th! This month went by fast, with an alternance of bitter cold, sweltering heat and thunderstorms here in Paris. Such is le joli mois de mai, the pretty month of May.

Tres Riches Heures du duc de Berry Months MayHere we meet again with the courtly Limbourg brother. He chose to show us a group of young people going out for a ride with a few musicians to enjoy the – sometimes unreliable – mildness of spring weather.

See how some of the characters have donned crowns of greenery, and the ladies wear light green dresses. As was the case for April, the man in the ample gold-embroidered blue robe seems to be the Duc de Berry himself in his youth. I suspect the lady on a white horse at the center of the composition is the bride to whom he was betrothed in that picture. Does she not look like the same young woman?

In the background, we recognize the towers of the Conciergerie and the Tour de l’Horloge in the Isle of the Cité, as they still exist to this day. This was the skyline of Paris in the late Middle Ages.

And above this lovely scene the signs of Taurus and Gemini dominate the month of May.

So let’s enjoy what is left of it!

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