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The Birth of the Virgin
Pseudo-Jacquemart de Hesdin (French, active about 1380 - 1415)
Bourges (probably), France; Paris (or), France (Place Created)
Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold paint, and ink on parchment
Ms. 36 (89.ML.3), fol. 71v
Leaf: 17.9 × 13.3 cm (7 1/16 × 5 1/4 in.)
Mary's mother, Anna, rests in her bed shortly after giving birth to the Virgin, while several female attendants care for her. At the lower right, one of the women prepares a bath for Mary. As an angel fills the tub, the attendant cradles the Virgin and tests the bath water with her fingertips.
The Birth of the Virgin was an important feast in the Middle Ages, and this image precedes prayers for the mass on that day.
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