The J. Paul Getty Museum

The Meeting at the Golden Gate

Object Details


The Meeting at the Golden Gate






Bourges (probably), France; Paris (or), France (Place Created)


about 1410


Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold paint, and ink on parchment

Object Number:

Ms. 36 (89.ML.3), fol. 89v


Leaf: 17.9 × 13.3 cm (7 1/16 × 5 1/4 in.)

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Object Description

Joachim and Anne turn in surprise as an angel descends from above to tell them, despite their advanced age and their difficulty in conceiving a child, Anna will soon give birth to the Virgin Mary. The event takes place before a castlelike structure representing the Golden Gate, where the angel had instructed Joachim and Anne to meet.

This image introduces the mass for the Conception of the Virgin, or the Immaculate Conception, a feast that was celebrated infrequently in the early 1400s. The text complements two other masses related to the Virgin in this book--the Birth of the Virgin and the Assumption of the Virgin--indicating that the book's owner may have had a particular devotion to Mary.