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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Book of Hours
France, perhaps Brittany, ca. 1425
MS M.865 fol. 62r

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Christ: Nativity and Shepherds: Adoration -- Seated on bed or cushion, Virgin Mary, nimbed and veiled, holds on her lap partially draped Christ Child, nimbed. He is grasping her veil with His right hand and holding small red object to His breast with His left hand. He looks toward two shepherds wearing torn clothing, hose and boots. One of the shepherds kneels holding bagpipe. The other, wearing hat and hood, with purse at waist, indicates Christ Child with right hand and touches with left hand, back of first shepherd. Joseph the Carpenter, wearing hood, eyes shut, sits in foreground, resting right hand on left knee, and head on left hand. Before him on ground is fire, three legged kettle and bundle of sticks. Rays descend from arc of Heaven.
Scene in hilly landscape with sheep in background. Virgin Mary and Christ Child in open shed with short wattle fence at each end, under roof with holes. Three doves on roof holding olive (?) branches in bills. Ass standing next to manger in the shed.
Miniature and text framed on three sides by rectilinear bars of gold decorated with vine scroll. Margins decorated with border of vine scroll.

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