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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Book of Hours
France, ca. 1430
MS M.64 fol. 43v

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Christ: Nativity -- Virgin Mary, with decorated nimbus, is seated in bed, suckling Christ Child, crossed-nimbus. Midwife is seated before bed with cloth on lap; Joseph the Carpenter kneels at foot of bed, with hands joined and raised, with pouch hanging from girdle. Behind Mary, ass and ox eat from manger. Behind bed is group of women, some wearing headdress, some with wimpled veil, three with joined hands. In background are five angels, nimbed, two holding book, two with joined hands and one raising right hand. Scene in canopied architectural frame with crosses surmounting pinnacles on roof.
Right margin, within circle of foliage (top to bottom):
1) Prophet, kneeling, holding scroll with pseudo-inscription with both hands, kneeling.
2) Prophet, wearing hat, holding scroll with pseudo-inscription with both hands, kneeling on one knee.
Lower margin, within circle of foliage:
1) Shepherds: Annunciation (?) -- Shepherd, amid sheep, holding staff in right hand, raising left hand is seated looking toward another shepherd, or angel.
Margins decorated with border of foliate and floreate ornament, including strawberry.

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