Finding himself in central and eastern Europe in the summer of 2007, the hay pilgrim again felt the irresistible magnetism of that northwestern region of Romania known as Maramureş, especially since a huge, traditional wedding of a beautiful Romanian friend would coincide with his visit, and especially since his inefficient but entertaining ramblings in search of hay in southern Germany and the northern Alps had proved to be less productive for the hayinart database. The summer was too wet and the technology too advanced to for any traditional haymaking to survive north of the Alps and west of the Carpathians. After a bizarre series of irrational journeys, from Germany to Geneva to Gatwick and back to Budapest, with a sideways shuttle to Beograd and back again to Budapest, he rented a PT Cruiser (like last year’s but cherry red), and drove six hours further east, to Eden.
Explorers of this sprawling website may have stumbled across a suite of ten illustrated esssays on the magic of Maramureş, written a year ago. They will remember that this corner of Europe is one of the few where hay is made in the Bruegel style and where haymaking itself is a vernacular craft of the most appealing kind.
And they will understand the appeal of the added incentive, the wedding of the daughter of Petru Berci (star of one of the finest hay photographs ever taken), an event which promised to be Bruegelian in itself. So here, in two parts, is an account of another week in Maramureş: first, some new hay discoveries; and second, some highlights of the remarkable wedding in Sarbi, an event which caused hundreds of celebrating villagers to set aside their scythes, rakes and forks for a whole weekend, and which, like other nuptials documented on this site, allows hayinart similarly to interrupt its primary industry.
Rediscovering the appeal of Surdesti haystacks.
Having arrived in Surdesti after dark, I rose early next morning to discover that the haystack was as beautiful as I had remembered it. Indeed the stacks in and around Surdesti were all as fine in their shapes and textures and juxtapositions as they were last Autumn.
Dried hay and drying clothes (homage to Grunwald and the Baia Mare School).
The most prominent painting on the second floor of the Hungarian National Gallery in Budapest is Bela Grunwald’s dazzling 1903 depiction of brightly colored clothes drying on a line next to a haystack already dried by the same sunshine. This motif still appears repeatedly in the Maramureş landscape.
Stacks, stones, shrines and spires.
The juxtaposition of haystacks, grave-markers, road-side shrines, and towering wooden spires remains an irresistible theme of the durably sacred and the ephemerally profane.
Stacking hay near Breb.
The spectacular road which runs along the ridge between Sarbi and Breb offers a vista of hay meadows and apple orchards. Last year, there were no tractors in the landscape. Here a bright little red tractor hitched to a load of apples stands next to a haystack in the process of completion. The tightly woven corona, to be fitted as a plug around the central stake, was full of summer flowers. The old man on top carefully took it from an extended furcoi, then climbed down the ladder. The feet that had compressed the hay were bare. Resting under an apple tree, he pulled on his sandals, while the rest of the family gave their names to the scrupulous professional, my photographer friend, Kathleen.
Repairing old stacks.
Imperfectly compressed stacks sometimes separate from their summits, and become even more humanoid. On the road along the Iza Valley, I saw a man, hanging on the central stack, twisting and stomping in an effort to pull an older stack back into respectable shape.
Drying hay near Slatioara.
Judging from the wonderful variety of strategies and structures for drying hay beside the road to Slatioara and Glod, we assume that the grass in that narrow valley is particularly thick and damp. A simple geometric classification would summarize the forms, in ascending order of their frequency into triangles, rectangles, and linear exclamation points. But such reductionism does inadequate justice to variations on these themes, the visual rhythms which decorate the meadows, the stages of their construction, and the skill of those who shape them.
The changing sopron.
On behalf of our Dutch friend, Wim Lanphen, and his heroic fascination with haysheds with adjustable roofs (soprons in the local dialect), I collected a few examples which I’d missed last year. Among them were inevitable signs of decay and startling evidence of non-traditional materials, including a roof of corrugated plastic, lime-green in color!
Technological change and a Hungarian postscript.
The hand-pushed mechanical mower which has begun to replace the scythe has evidently effected another change. Along with their traditional roles as rakers, women, as well as men, can now be seen cutting the grass. But technological progress in Maramures has fortunately far to go before it catches up with that of the modern farms of neighboring Hungary. Looming near the M3 motorway, southwest of Eger, near the village of Ludas, is what may be the world’s tallest haystack, a metal-framed structure, about six times higher than the highest stack in Romania. I paused during my rush back into modern Europe, and hiked back a mile or so from the nearest freeway exit to try to make sense of this monster. The end view, from the south, gives a certain industrial dignity to the tall narrow structure with its diagonal wire supports, apparently delicate but evidently strong enough to resist the winter easterlies that blow uninterrupted across the Hungarian Plain . The view from the west, revealing its full width, shows an irregular, shaggy sagging which is almost zoomorphic, both as a whole and in each modular frame. It is impossible to know whether this is the haystack of the future or some eccentric engineering aberration.
Ileana’s wedding: a ceremonial interlude from summer hay.
"Ileana Berci's wedding was one of the most spectacular sights I've ever had the privilege to witness in Romania." -- Caroline Juler, author of the Blue Guide to Romania, Searching for Sarmizegetusa , and the newly published National Geographic Traveler Guide to Romania.
Petru cuts grass and his face before Ileana’s wedding.
Half-an-hour before his only daughter’s wedding was due to begin, Petru Berci was in the orchard, cutting grass for the animals. Later that night, he would leave the celebrations to feed them and milk the cows. During most of the ceremonies he would play a supporting role, serving tuica to the male guests, virtually invisible during the bridal procession and excluded, by tradition, from the inner, primarily god-parents’, circle in the biserica. Even at the night-long feasting and dancing at the community center, he seemed neither to eat nor dance, helping instead to wash some of the literally thousands of dishes in preparation for the long series of courses. He complained only once. Shaving with what appeared to be a dull razor, he cut himself repeatedly. Irritated more by the inconveniently messy blood than by the discomfort, he muttered untranslatable annoyance into the still quiet courtyard.
The bride and her relatives in the yard.
Ileana came from the Sighetu hairdressers a few minutes before the ceremony was alleged to begin. Fortunately, since she was informally dressed at the time, the actual ceremony was several hours away. The tradition keeps the bride waiting with her entourage for at least three hours in the formal “best rooms,” that part of the house upstairs which is used only by very special guests or for very special occasions. Maria, Ileana’s grandmother, works as hard as her son-in-law Petru and almost never appears in fine clothes. She looks beautiful in her best scarf, seeming older but more striking than her sister who raised her daughters to be sophisticated urbanites. One of them here is smiling, a rare expression for any member of this wealthy but sullen branch of the family.
Boys in the band.
The bride’s band consisted of a few young and musically inexperienced boys, trained and led by Petru’s brother, the principal of the local high school and a very competent fiddler. The boys came early and Maria gave them some encouragement in the yard.
Bruegel’s seasons and hay on the walls of Prague.
With the dozens of medieval seasonal scything scenes in mind, a recent viewing of Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s harvest painting a few blocks up Fifth Avenue from the Morgan Library stimulated a peculiar compulsion to see all five of the brillian Bruegel suite of seasons in a single summer. This entailed a pleasant trip to Prague, where, earlier this year, the greatest haymaking scene of all was moved into the city from a less convenient suburban castle. The other three are also reasonably close to Prague in the grand Viennese Kunsthistorisches Museum, which houses huge roomfuls other Bruegel masterpieces. And the Prague visitor whose vision is honed for the hay habit will find several other scythes on the walls of that great city.
Bruegel’s “Months,” as they are conventionally called, are seen by scholars as a logical extension of the illustrated manuscript calendars that preceded them for four hundred years and especially of the Simon Bening landscapes from earlier in the sixteenth century. There remains uncertainty about the number of paintings originally in the cycle and indeed precisely which months the survivors represent. Iain Buchanan’s thoughtful essay in the Burlington Magazine (August 1990, pp. 541-550) reviewed the arguments of earlier writers and concluded, based in part on the familiar iconography of seasonal rustic activity, that Haymaking represented June and July, and the Corn Harvest August and September. But the work and play in Bruegel’s landscapes are more varied than even those in the Bening’s most complex manuscript scenes (see our Morgan Library 3, below). They include secular Flemish folk references that were understandably absent from the sacred Books of Hours. Buchanan’s useful table of Labors of the Months in seven calendar cycles from the Bening Workshop (p. 550) shows Haymaking invariably as the July activity, confirming our own observations about mowing in the Morgan Library Flemish calendars. But he fails to note additional evidence for June-July as Bruegel’s months of hay, notably that June, not July, was the most common mowing month in the French manuscript calendars.
Based on manuscript conventions and images of Flemish folklore, Buchanan persuasively argues that the three famous Vienna paintings Return of the Herd, Hunters in the Snow, and Gloomy Day, were originally devoted respectively to October-November, December-January, and February-March, and that the missing painting probably represented April and May. Here is the trio representing October through March, forming a kind of brilliant triptych as they now hang together in the main Bruegel Gallery in the Kunsthistorisches Museum.
Separated by several thousand miles, an ocean and a continent, the summer months ought to hang together like this, as they originally did in the villa of the wealthy Antwerp merchant, Niclaes Jongelinck, for whom they were painted.
This natural summer pair were separated about half their lives ago. The harvest scene was taken west first to Paris as Napoleonic plunder, and then, just after the first World War, to the Metropolitan Museum where it now hangs, not particularly prominent in that vast complex of incomparable examples from every place and period. Haymaking moved east and remained in aristocratic collections until the Soviet era, when it became part of the Czech national collections, before returning to the Lobkowicz family after the velvet revolution. For more than a decade, the family kept it in a castle about 20 kilometers upriver from Prague, but it has now been made the most prominent object in the so-called “Princely Collections” in the Lobkowicz Palace, just inside the gates of the Prague Castle complex itself. Here are some of the promotional materials for the princely palace, all using Bruegel’s rustic hay landscape as the featured attraction.
Other mowers on the walls of Prague.
Near Prague Castle, on the same hill which dominates this magnificent city is the famous cathedral of St. Vitus. Most visitors troop by the south wall of the cathedral, some giving a cursory glance to the mosaic above the golden portal. But few pay much attention to the bronze gates across the portal, since they are mentioned in very few guide-books. But to the alert hay enthusiast who has just emerged from the Bruegel shrine, the sculptures on the gates are instantly recognizable as modern versions of the ancient occupations of the seasons, each pairing a traditional rustic activity with a sign from the zodiac. The medieval themes are expressed in a vaguely modernist style. Indeed they were cast in 1955 by the Czech sculptor Jaroslav Horejc. A few of the twelve figures are shown at left below, followed by a detail showing June, a man sharpening his scythe, with the sign of cancer, and July a drinking scyther with a woman bundling a sheaf and, above her, a remarkable aerial view of a field of stooks.
Down in medieval Prague across the river, a crowd gathers near the old town hall at the top of every hour, to watch the parade of figures emerge from one of Europe’s most complicated clocks. Just beneath the clock is a large circular zodiac, and by each sign, yet another version of the labor of each month. While the famous clock was built at the time of Bruegel, the calendar was created in the nineteenth century by the Czech painter Josef Manes. At the top of the calendar, look for the lion and crab signs, for July and June. Just outside them are respectively grain reapers and haymakers.
A few blocks away, murals with agricultural scenes, also by Josef Manes, incongruously cover the façade of a neo-Renaissance building that once housed the V J Rott iron-mongers’ business. The Rott building now houses crystal and jewelry stores. A man with a scythe and a woman with a rake reflect the familiar rustic gender themes. Finally, in the basement of the Prague Municipal Building, a treasure-house of early twentieth century murals and stained glass by Mucha and others, a mosaic by Jacub Obrovsky glows with the colors of a Bohemian harvest scene. Not it isn’t hay, but the man with the scythe justifies its presence here.
Mowing motifs in months of Morgan manuscripts.
The Morgan Library in New York City has one of the great medieval manuscript collections in the world. Within it is one of the world’s great collections of Books of Hours. And among their folios of illuminated calendars are dozens of illustrations of people, usually men, scything and sickling hay and grain harvests, accompanied, not in the fields but on the folios, by strange symbols that look like crabs or lobsters (cancer, the sign for June) or lions (Leo for July). The occupational and symbolic sequence is common enough that a quick trip on the Morgan’s outstanding online catalog “Corsair” (signifying the library of John Pierpont the capitalist or the Henry the pirate?), in search of “June occupations” discovers over 40 manuscripts with mowers in their medallions or margins. French folios have mowing most often in June; and the Flemish, German and English folios, perhaps reflecting a more northerly haymaking season, have the scythe in the following month. Only once does the scythe, perhaps due to error or eccentricity, appear as late as August. The sickle, often with yellow grain crops, parallel stalks and more linear sheaves, is almost always on the folio following the scythe. Clearly the convention was for grain to follow hay in the agricultural and liturgical cycle. But a few cataloging lapses by the Morgan archivists have the scythe harvesting “grain,” perhaps trivial in their more lofty contexts, but significant in (H)ours.
I hope that my own virtual harvest of the manuscript paintings and their systematic stacking in the hayinart database will illuminate iconographic distinctions in style and content. I have arranged them below in three sections roughly corresponding to centuries and stylistic shifts: the first showing conformity to the image of a single, simplified figure in a pose which is almost ideographic; the second reflecting rudimentary landscape themes and an emerging use of perspective; and the third celebrating complex agricultural and social activity. Each example has a pair of illustrations: an image on the page among other decorations of the text and the same image in isolation. The captions, sources and dates can be found by passing your cursor over the image. I hope that these juxtapositions will illuminate both the variety and consistency of this theme. To view the originals in their manuscript contexts, I recommend a virtual visit to the Morgan Library’s own splendid site .
I have also interspersed, for comparison, a few famous Books of Hours, that somehow escaped the Morgan appetite for acquisition.
Mowing at the Morgan 1: 12th to 14th century scythes as simple symbols.
The earliest collection of seasonal activities in the Corsair catalog appears to be German, a 12th century Weingarten manuscript, in which the June occupation is hoeing. Scything hay is shown here on the July folio. The pose, scyther turning to the left, scythe pointing to the right, would be repeated, with varying degrees of stylization over the next two centuries.
In this early thirteenth century Book of Hours, the June page shows a man with a scythe conforming to the earlier iconographic conventions of mowing hay, although the Morgan record, perhaps influenced by the simple regularity of the stalks, calls it grain.
A Flemish Psalter from mid thirteenth century Bruges has the scythe on the July page. The pose of the mower differs from its predecessors: the scythe is held higher to the left, and the figure stands, incongruously, in front of a gothic structure. August has a sickle being used on a much more regular crop, signifying grain. The June page before the one illustrated here shows a man carrying wood .
Two French Psalters from the 1260s have the scythe in June. For the second, the Morgan has grain harvest, but the month and tool imply hay.
In another Flemish Psalter from the 1270s probably done by the Tweede Groepe of Ghent, the June folio shows a man carrying wood. July has a man with a scythe in a Gothic architectural frame. His pose is innovative, facing to the right, but less dynamic than most of his contemporaries. August a man cutting grain with a sickle .
Two late thirteenth century French manuscripts, the first a Psalter, the second a Breviary, both have scything as the June activity.
London is given as the probable source of the DuBois Book of Hours from the early fourteenth century. June, according to the Morgan caption, has a man weeding grass with a weed extractor ! The July folio has an uncomfortably posed, crudely painted man scything grass.
Two French manuscripts from the late fourteenth century show a man with a scythe in June. The medallions in which these figures are posed are identical in shape, but the backgrounds are very different, the first a geometric basket weave, the second a conventional field of grass against a fleur-de-lys pattern.
Medieval Mowers beyond the Morgan.
A sampler of medieval mowers from beyond the Morgan Library, lacking, alas, the Morgan’s meticulous consistency, at least concerning date and authorship.
Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries.
The 11th century manuscript allegedly depicts October(!) farmers gathering hay with scythes and pitchforks. Supposedly in the British Library but no MS number is supplied at the source web-site . The 12th century English manuscript showing two men scything is in the Glasgow University Library .
Two useful items were culled from godecookery , both tantalizingly lacking in reliable background information: a mower with his scythe: the month of June, from the Canterbury Calendar. c1280, MS Corpus Christi College 285; and an undated image with the erroneous caption “Harvesting Grain”. We claimed it for the hayinart corpus because of the raking woman and the scything man, but it is certainly much later than the other image, possibly from the 15th century.
Mowing at the Morgan 2: 15th century rustic landscape description.
Two French Books of Hours from the early fifteenth century show less stylized more animated figures, recognizable rural landscapes, trees adding interest to the hayfield and giving a sense of depth to the image.
Two more French Books of Hours from the same period. The first, by the so-called Master of Morgan, has the mower conventionally in June. Although the landscape is still stylized, the texture of grass in the foreground, the smooth horizon and the blue sky beyond suggest rudimentary perspectival depth. The second, remarkably, is in August, an unusually late month for the scythe, and in this crowded mowing scene the scythers seem to be working at cross purposes!
Another two French Books of Hours from the 1430s, the first adopting what appears to be the new convention of field, horizon and sky. The second mowing scene is described in the Morgan note as a grain harvest. This is unlikely, not simply because of the month and the scythe, but also the soft green color of the crop. The dark complexion of the mower in the latter is interesting but probably incidental. A new level of realism is evident here, in the sturdy pose of the scyther, the twist of the grass over his blade and the two figures in the background.
Two June pages from French Books of Hours of the 1460s show the emergence of swathes or windrows of mown grass serving as decorative devices. The positions and shapes of the image in relation to the texts are almost identical, and the compositions are also similar. However, the second is vastly more sophisticated than the first, in the dynamic posture of the mower, the curved rhythms of the grass which seem to echo his actions, and the delicately depicted chateau in the background.
A pair of anomalies: a French Book of Hours, the scyther is on the July folio and, conventional in sequence if not month, a sickle and grain harvest follows in August ; and a Flemish manuscript from the same period with the scythe in June (note the peculiar centipede-like crab), not July as is conventional for the more northerly region. The crudeness of the figure has much in common with those of a century before.
In its description of the first of these two manuscripts by Jean Colombe, the Morgan record calls the crop grain, but the scythe and the month imply hay. The roughly sketched mower is given far less care than the flowery interweave which surrounds him. But the second landscape is remarkable; two figures gesturally distinct and overlapping, cut grass lying between them; and beyond a row of trees shrunken by distance, a lake, and a range of mountains each set behind the other with a hint of atmospheric perspective to add to the sense of depth.
Two more anomalies, one Spanish, the other Flemish. A 15th century Spanish manuscript from the workshop of Juan de Carrion of Burgos has an unusual sequence of monthly occupations: June has a sickle and harvest , while July, shown here, has the scythe. In a Flemish Book of Hours by Jean Marmion, the mower seems to be dancing across the hay with a grace that rivals the Limbourg haymakers in Les Tres Riches Heures (see below). The hay page, anomalous for Flanders, is June not July. While the Spanish and Flemish manuscripts are of the same vintage, their relative sophistication is dramatically different.
Two late 15th century French Books of Hours, the first from the Chief Associate of Maitre Francois and the second from the workshop of Jean Bourdichon, both have the conventional scything activity for June. The latter figure is squeezed into a small marginal frame surrounded by the fruits and flowers of the season.
In this Cambrai manuscript, sheep are sheared on the cancer folio, hay, as is typical of Flemish Books of Hours, is mowed in July (shown here), and grain is threshed with a flail in August . Each of these occupational images is a study in greys, quickly sketched.
More manuscript mowers beyond the Morgan: Fifteenth century.
June and July, from a 15th century French manuscript in Keble College, Oxford, reproduced from the cover of Kristian Sotriffer’s 1990 monograph, Heu und Stroh; and June from the DeGrey Book of Hours, a 15th century Flemish treasure in the National Library of Wales .
The Getty Center’s fine collection of Books of Hours is well represented on its web-site . But, while the Morgan has generously reproduced all of its medieval manuscripts and provided high resolution details of the images thereon, the Los Angeles museum has been selective, skipping most of the calendar pages in favor of those with religious themes and leaving the illustrations unexpanded and indistinct. Here are two examples, the first from the workshop of the Master of Rohan, the second by Willem Vrelant of Flanders. Both the French manuscript, dated about 1415, and the Flemish, about 50 years later, have June mowing scenes next to the sign of the crab.
The June (cancer) and July (leo) pages from a Book of Hours in the Musee du Moyen-Age, Cluny .
Two thumbnail images from the Bridgeman Archive barely hint at the quality of their sources. The first is a haymaking and woodcutting scene by Robinet Testard (fl 1475-1523) from the Hours of Charles d'Angouleme, about 1480, allegedly showing an unconventional combination of activities, including, presumably, a second hay crop. The other, a June haymaking scene in the Musee Conde, Chantilly, (Ms 340/603 f9.3), is perplexing as to date. The artist is alleged to be Pietro de Crescenzi (1230-c1320), but Bridgeman dates the image to the fifteenth century, wildly inconsistent but stylistically more plausible. The June frame, barely legible as a mower, is second from the left on the middle row.
The spartacus schoolnet website gives as the source for the first of these image the 'Fastolf Master's' Book of Hours. Perhaps the cited artist is confused with the Fastolf Master (or Master of Sir John Fastolf, prototype of Shakespeare's Falstaff), who worked in fifteenth century France and whose work we have already seen above in a Morgan manuscript. According to Grove the Fastolf Master flourished between about 1420 and 1460, obviously inconsistent with the date given for this image, but more consistent as to style. The second is from a July page in the British Library , the annotation of which probably gets the crop wrong. The use of the sickle, as we have seen, almost always implies grain not hay.
Two Flemish manuscript pages from the late fifteenth century: the first, from the British Library , shows haymaking in June; the second, by Gerard Horenbout (1465-1541), from the Book of Hours of Joanna of Castile shows July.
Mowing at the Morgan 3: Rural narratives of the 16th century.
In the Flemish Breviary of Eleanor of Portugal by the Master of James IV of Scotland (the very name reflects remarkable cosmopolitanism!), complex haymaking detail is crowded into the lower margin of the July folio. June shows sheep-shearing . The Morgan dates straddle the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, but the evident delight in the variety of activities, the appearance of women with rakes and forks, of draft animals, of haystacks with ladders, anticipate the rustic narratives of Bruegel.
Jean Poyet’s so-called Hours of Henry VIII, named for and possibly once owned by the polygamous Tudor monarch, was however created when the latter was under ten years old. The brilliantly sophisticated June scene has elements in common with the Limbourg's more famous work for the Duc du Berry, but rearranged. Three men scythe in rhythm at left; barefooted women use forks to rake the loose hay into cocks; the cart, with neither horse nor hay, stands by pollarded willows.
Robert Boyvin’s Book of Hours like Poyet’s is from the early sixteenth century France, but clumsy enough to warrant comparison not with his contemporary but with the work of an earlier generation.
May, showing a youth with a flower and lovers embracing, and June are on the same folio of this French manuscript by a follower of Jean Pichore; the Morgan caption mistakenly calls the scythe a sickle. To the right of this misnamed implement is a monstrous crab.
At the lower right corner of this mainly floral border of the June page of a French Book of Hours from about 1510 is a man scything, given far less importance than in other emerging narrative art of manuscripts of the same period. Indeed, the naturalism of the flowers serves to accentuate the crude retrogression of the mower’s depiction.
This early 16th century Paris manuscript by the Master of Morgan has a haymaking scene of rare detail, including scything, raking, and a well-painted haycock.
A most unusual sequence of months in a French Book of Hours by a follower of the Master of Petrarch’s Triumphs has sheep-shearing in June, playfully complicated by a flirtatious woman spinning wool, a woman wielding a sickle and a man bundling a sheaf in July , and another harvest scene, shown here, with scythes in August. Hay, alas, appears to be absent from all the summer pages, but at least there’s a donkey-sized dog in the August image.
In this handsomely illustrated French (Tours) manuscript by the Master of the Getty Epistles, every page has a charming narrative. June shows sheep being sheared by a woman while a man tries to distract her. This July scene shows hay being mowed by a scythe with a second man resting nearby. The August harvest scene , like the July scene described above, is anomalous in the gender division of labor: a woman is using the sickle, while her male companion sits on the ground binding a sheaf.
The haymaking and harvesting scenes in the famous Da Costa Hours by Simon Bening are equally documentary in their detail and exquisite in their execution. A full page, with no text, is dedicated to each activity. Because no close-ups of the salient details are necessary, both complete July and August folios are shown here.
In this Bening Psalter, done a decade or so later than the Da Costa Hours, June shows sheep being sheared . July has the scythe and August the sickle , but the Morgan caption falsely assumes that July has grain not hay. The July page, shown here is typical. The visual narrative has been relegated again to the margins, but the position of the text implies that it is covering up a wealth of other rustic detail.
Medieval Mowers beyond the Morgan.
The Grimani Breviary , now in Venice but created in the Low Countries at the beginning of the 16th century, and a New York Public Library Book of Hours from the same period, both devote whole pages to the art of haymaking.
The Getty Center in Los Angeles also has a fine collection of Books of Hours, and most of them are well represented on the Getty web-site. But, while the Morgan has generously reproduced every folio of its medieval manuscripts, the Getty has been selective, tending to skip most of the calendar pages in favor of those with religious themes. Exceptional is the treatment of the Spinola Hours from the Flemish workshop of the Master of James IV of Scotland. All the zodiac leaves have been digitized, including the July mowing scene next to the lion sign.
Bening hay scenes in the British Library.
Among the several manuscripts attributed to the Flemish artist Simon Bening are this July haymaking scene , with men mowing and women raking, from 1510-1525, and the famous Golf Book from about a decade later. Two scenes from the Golf Book are shown below: Hunting and haymaking; and an interesting marginal hay cart with a pole to hold down the load.