The Annunciation to the Shepherds, a large illuminated miniature on a leaf on vellum from a Book of Hours.[France, Paris, c.



Available to view at our Curzon Street shop.

Miniature in a gently arched compartment showing two three-quarter length shepherds leaning on their staves as thye stand among their sheep in a night-time pastoral landscape, a gold angel appearing in a blue arc in the sky radiating light which catches the clothes of the shepherds themselves, above a large initial, full border on a parti-coloured ground of liquid gold and brown with coloured flowers and acanthus leaves and three birds; verso with illuminated initials, rubrics in blue, and line-fillers, panel border (a little rubbed at edges).

Size of leaf: 140 x 92mm, size of miniature c. 84 x 55mm. On recto 7 lines of text in a small lettre bâtarde (opening of Terce), verso with 30 lines of text (written space 94 x 56mm). 

An elegant night scene, lit by the light radiating from the angel, in the style which originated with Jean Bourdichon in Tours and worked its way up, through Rouen, to the capital. The miniature is in the style of the illuminator known as the Master of Morgan 219 or, more recently, the Master of the Chronique Scandaleuse, who worked in Paris c. 1493-c.1510, illustrating manuscripts and probably designing woodcuts for printed books. The practice of using blue for rubrics is characteristically Parisian. The Use, with the antiphon 'Maria virgo' at Terce, on the verso here, is that of Rome.

Another leaf probably from the same manuscript, showing the Baptism of Christ, was sold at Sotheby's, 12 December 1967, lot 6, afterwards our European Bulletin 6 (1969), no. 8, with plate.

Stock Code: 227707

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