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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Book of Hours
France, ca. 1430
MS M.64 fol. 21r

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Virgin Mary: Annunciation -- Archangel Gabriel, with decorated nimbus, right hand raised, left hand holding scroll inscribed AVE GRATIA PLENA DOMINUS, looking toward Virgin Mary, with decorated nimbus, seated, arms crossed on her breast. Above left, is dove of Holy Ghost, nimbed, flying amid rays toward Virgin Mary. At right is lectern on which is book with pseudo-inscription, and vase of lilies on shelf next to lectern. Scene in canopied architectural frame, flanked by columns each topped with statue of prophet holding scroll. Atop canopy, crosses and bannered crosses surmounting pinnacles.
Margins decorated with border of foliate and floreate ornament, inhabited by lion.
Lower margin, within circle of foliage, in narrative sequence:
1) Joachim: Annunciation -- Angel, nimbed, holding scroll with pseudo-inscription, above Joachim, wering hood, seated on ground next to five sheep.
2) Joachim and Anna: at Golden Gate -- Anna, wearing wimpled veil, and Joachim, nimbed, embrace before building in hilly landscape with buildings in background.
3) Angel, nimbed, holding blank shield with both hands.
4) Virgin Mary: Birth -- Infant Virgin Mary, nude, is bathed in basin by midwife, wearing wimpled veil, seated on stool. Behind them, Anna, nimbed, reclines in bed. Scene in windowed room.
Right margin, within circle of foliage, in narrative (bottom to top):
1) Virgin Mary: Presentation -- Joachim, wearing hood, holding staff in right hand and raising left hand, looks up toward Virgin Mary, nimbed, left hand raised, ascending ladder toward temple (?).
2) Virgin Mary: Life in Temple -- Virgin Mary, nimbed, is seated on ground weaving at loom flanked above by busts of two angels, nimbed, below rays.

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