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The four hours of the day
The four hours of the day

Since the earliest antiquity, Man has sought to structure space-time, from the rising to the setting of the sun using the regular rhythm of hours. Each of these hours organises daily life according to human activities. 
Activities and habits, however, do not necessarily remain the same over the centuries, nor are they shared by everyone in a given society. Any shift observed in the various moments of the day over the centuries is generally the result of the many economic, social or religious subtleties. 
In high society, rising, washing, breakfast, prayer, child education, reading, writing, lunch, receiving guests, dinner, bed time correspond therefore to a precise moment in the day. 
For landscape painters, the hours of the day offer a pretext for observing the play of light on nature. The range of chromatics and its modulations suggest the time of day punctuated by work carried out in the fields and rural pursuits. 
The four ages of Man and the four seasons are often associated with the four hours of the day. 
Lancret Nicolas (1690-1743)
Royaume-Uni, Londres, National Gallery
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