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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Book of Hours
France, Paris, ca. 1500
MS H.5 fol. 30r

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Upper miniature:
Virgin Mary: Annunciation -- Archangel Gabriel, kneeling, holding scepter in left hand and raising right forefinger, addresses Virgin Mary, nimbed, kneeling, with clasped hands raised, beneath canopy, at prie-dieu, upon which is open book with pseudo-inscription. Inscription between them reads, AVE GRACIA PLENA DOMINUS TECUM (from Luke 1:28, varient).
Through open window is cloud-edged arc of heaven, within which is half figure of God, rays as nimbus, wearing triple-crowned tiara, raising right hand in blessing and holding cross-surmounted globe in left hand. From the arc of heaven issue rays, upon which Dove of Holy Ghost flies toward Virgin.
Lower miniature:
Virgin Mary: Birth -- Anna, nimbed, reclines on bed beneath canopy, beside female attendant, holding cup of water in right hand. At right, midwife kneels and bathes nude infant Virgin Mary, nimbed, in basin. All three women wear turban-like headdresses. Scene in room with bench and figural decoration on wall.
Right margin:
1) Joachim and Anna: at Golden Gate -- In upper vignette, Joachim, nimbed, wearing hat, with purse at waist, embraces Anna, nimbed, wearing veil, before Golden Gate.
2) Virgin Mary: Presentation -- In center vignette, Joachim, wearing hat, with purse at waist, and Anna, nimbed, wearing veil, look on as young Virgin Mary, nimbed, joined hands raised, climbs steps toward temple.
3) Virgin Mary: Espousal -- In lower vignette, Virgin Mary and Joseph the Carpenter join right hands in front of high priest, dressed as cleric, and six men and woman (for three of which only tops of heads are visible). Scene in room with portal.
Miniatures within architectural frame, with statues of male figures in columns of left margin.

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