Single leaf by Simon Bening, Bruges ca 1550

London, British Library, Add. MS 18855

The calendar page of March derives from a later period of Simon Bening’s work, when landscape and architecture became more dominating in his illustrations. In the March picture motifs from the life of nobility are combined with rural scenes. Bening’s fine art has reached here full maturity.

To the left, surrounded by variously arranged landscape we see a fortified moated castle with a watch tower and, in the back, another fortress building with crenellation. Two nobles on horses are galloping over the drawbridge accompanied by a foot page swinging a flag. A white greyhound with a red dog-collar runs ahead over the meadow, where another rider is waiting. Behind, a horse is watered at the moat. Two swans float underneath the bridge, while nearby a fisherman in his boat is quietly holding his fish-tackle.