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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Book of Hours
France, Paris, ca. 1485-1490
MS M.231 fol. 31r

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Virgin Mary: Annunciation -- Before cloth of honor bearing pseudo-inscription, Virgin Mary, nimbed, with hands crossed on breast, kneels at and looks toward prie-dieu on which is open book. Archangel Gabriel raising right hand, and holding scepter in left hand, kneels opposite prie-dieu, next to inscription AUE GRATIA PLENA DOMINUS TECUM. Bust of God, rays as nimbus, both hands raised, appears in window through which rays stream. Dove of Holy Ghost flies amid the rays toward Virgin Mary.
Scene in room decorated with architectural ornament. Miniature within arched frame below two trilobed arches decorated with architectural ornament.
Vignette (lower margin):
1) Joachim: Offerings rejected -- Priest, tonsured, turning head away, wearing chasuable, holding paten with right hand holds left hand up toward Joachim, holding lamb with both hands. Anna, nimbed, with joined hands stands behind Joachim. Acolyte stands next to priest. Behind them is draped altar with reredos on which are two statues.
Vignettes (from upper right):
2) Joachim and Anna: at Golden Gate -- Joachim and Anna, nimbed and veiled with wimple, embrace before gate to city flanked by towers with domes.
3) Virgin Mary: Birth -- Anna, nimbed, and wearing headdress reclines in draped bed with canopy and curtains. In foreground, nude infant Virgin Mary, nimbed, held by midwife wearing headdress, crouches in basin of water.
4) Virgin Mary: Presentation -- Joachim, indicating with right hand, and Anna, nimbed and veiled with wimple, with joined hands stand next to stairway on which Virgin Mary, nimbed, with joined hands, kneels. At top of stairs is entrance to temple where priest, wearing miter and chasuable, stands; draped altar is behind him.

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