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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Book of Hours
Netherlands, Utrecht, ca. 1500
MS G.5 fol. 18v

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Virgin Mary: Annunciation -- Virgin Mary is seated on ground, reading book held open on her lap with both hands. Front legs of unicorn rest on her robe (Bestiary: Unicorn and Virgin). They are in garden enclosed by crenellated wall pierced by tower (ortus conclusus; Tower of Baris). Behind Mary is bucket or basket in which are stones, loaves, or wool. To her left is altar on which six rods flank flowering stem (Aaron: Blossoming Rod). Animal hide is on ground next to the altar, at end of beam descending from cloud (Gideon: Fleece). Outside of wall, Gabriel blows curved horn and holds leashes for two dogs with left hand (Scene, Sports and Games: Hunting). Also outside of wall, behind Virgin Mary is burning bush.
Scene in landscape with rocky outcrops, barren and leafed trees and city in distance.
Margins decorated with floreate ornament including dianthus, viola, bluebell (?), strawberry, thistle, columbine and rose, and inhabited by two butterflies.

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