Zwiefalten Monatsbilder, or labors of the months, was made in what is now Germany, around the year 1145 CE. Annus, the year,
is portrayed as a hairy, bearded man in a
skimpy mantle, sitting in the center of the page. He holds the moon
in his right hand and the sun in his left, while day hovers just below
the sun; and night, below the moon.
signs of the zodiac fill the innermost circle around the year, each with the
name of the month above it. Surrounding
these in a second concentric circle are the twelve labors of the months. These
start with January, just above and to the left of mid-circle, showing a rabbit hunter with his dog,
in pursuit of a hare.
winds appear as half-heads arranged around the outer edge of the months'
circle, with gentler winds in Spring and Autumn, no breeze at all in
Summer, and gusty winds in Winter.
the four outer corners are the seasons. Spring is lightly clothed, and holds
flowering branches in each hand.
Summer wears nothing at all in a nod to
the hot weather, and clutches a raised sickle, a reference to the
Autumn is more warmly dressed, with a tunic, hat, and shoes; and holds a
cluster of grapes in one hand and a full basket of grapes in the other.
Winter, bundled up in a warm mantle over his tunic, with shoes and hat,
warms one cold foot over a roaring fire.