Saint Anne Teaching the Virgin to Read

Object Details

Title:

Saint Anne Teaching the Virgin to Read

Artist/Maker:

Master of Sir John Fastolf (French, active before about 1420 - about 1450)

Culture:

French or English

Place:

France Europe or England Europe (Place created)

Date:

1430 to 1440

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment

Dimensions:

Leaf: 12.1 × 9.2 cm (4 3/4 × 3 5/8 in.)

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The young Virgin Mary holds an open book as her mother, Saint Anne, guides her reading. Saint Anne's teaching of her daughter is described in The Golden Legend, a collection of popular stories about the saints. This image also reflects the use of books of hours, such as this one, as primers for children. The glittering gold, blue, red, and green checkerboard pattern that fills the background of the scene was a typical decorative motif in manuscript illumination around the year 1400.

Related Works
Exhibitions
Artful Reading in Medieval and Renaissance Europe (December 18, 2001 to March 10, 2002)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 18, 2001 to March 10, 2002
Illuminating Women in the Medieval World (June 20 to September 17, 2017)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), June 20 to September 17, 2017