The iconography of the “Labours of the Months”, as figures engaged in active occupations, mostly rural activities, has a long history. Its origins are to be found in the Late Antiquity, but it was not until the XII century that it became a very common theme, above all in sculpture. What is of interest is that the medieval sculptural cycles show a more limited and simplified repertory of scenes compared to the past, which means they were undoubtedly more ‘targeted’, and therefore conceived to communicate specific messages. In fact, in the merely descriptive appearance of seasonal activities that mark the passage of time, in the Christian era these images, thanks to the visual connection they had with other images from the Old and New Testament displayed in the sacred spaces, were capable to evoke a gamut of multiple associations to such an extent that we can talk of thematic polysemy. This article aims to demonstrate that the sculptural cycles of the Labours of the Months were ultimately a sort of monumental agenda to remind the believer what to do in order to be a good Christian.

C’è un tempo per tutto: il calendario monumentale figurato nel Medioevo ovvero l’agenda del buon cristiano

Grazia Maria Fachechi
2021-01-01

Abstract

The iconography of the “Labours of the Months”, as figures engaged in active occupations, mostly rural activities, has a long history. Its origins are to be found in the Late Antiquity, but it was not until the XII century that it became a very common theme, above all in sculpture. What is of interest is that the medieval sculptural cycles show a more limited and simplified repertory of scenes compared to the past, which means they were undoubtedly more ‘targeted’, and therefore conceived to communicate specific messages. In fact, in the merely descriptive appearance of seasonal activities that mark the passage of time, in the Christian era these images, thanks to the visual connection they had with other images from the Old and New Testament displayed in the sacred spaces, were capable to evoke a gamut of multiple associations to such an extent that we can talk of thematic polysemy. This article aims to demonstrate that the sculptural cycles of the Labours of the Months were ultimately a sort of monumental agenda to remind the believer what to do in order to be a good Christian.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2695349
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