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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Book of Hours
France, Poitiers, ca. 1475
MS M.1001 fol. 44r

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Christ: Nativity -- Within stable, Virgin Mary, nimbed, kneels with joined hands raised before Christ Child, cross-nimbed, nude, lying amid rays of light in wattle manger. Two angels, joined hands raised, and Joseph the Carpenter, nimbed, kneeling, hands crossed at breast, wearing moneybag at waist, adore Christ Child. Ox and ass look on.
Miniature and text framed by historiated border with the following figures and scenes:
Left border:
Angel appears above roof of stable forming frame of Nativity scene.
Below, shepherd, playing pipe, tends sheep within landscape.
Right border:
Shepherds: Annunciation -- Angel, holding scroll inscribed GLORIA IN EXCELCIS, appears above two shepherds tending sheep and one goat in barnyard. Shepherdess stands in doorway of building beside barnyard.
Lower border:
Scene, Sports and Games: Dancing -- Men and women, joining hands, dance near forest. One man grasps front paws of dog standing on its hindlegs. Another man plays bagpipes.

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