© Bibliothèque nationale de France, département des manuscrits, ms français 126, fol. 7

Les travailleurs [The Workers] by Gilles de Rome. Illuminator: Master Talbot, 1450

This illumination is one of three images that make up the frontispiece of Régime des princes, a book written in 1279 by Gilles de Rome, tutor of Philip the Fair. This manuscript was designed in 1450 for the aldermen of Rouen. The frontispiece depicts the three orders of medieval society: men of faith, aristocrats and workers, represented here by peasants plowing a field with a horse, not an ox. This illustration shows how, in the 15th century, horse-drawn traction became commonplace.