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The Annunciation to the Shepherds
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Workshop of the Boucicaut Master
French, Paris, about 1415 - 1420
Tempera colors and gold on parchment
8 1/16 x 5 13/16 in.
MS. 22, FOL. 67

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One shepherd looks up in awe and another shields his eyes as two angels greet them with the phrase written on the scroll: Gloria in excelsis deo et in terr[a pax] (Glory to God in the heights and on earth peace). The angels then announce that the Christ child has been born in Nazareth, and one of them points to the town in the distance. This miniature is the fourth in a series of eight scenes depicting the life of the Virgin Mary. The scenes accompany the eight sets of prayers of the Hours of the Virgin. Laypeople recited the cycle of prayers over the course of a single day. During that time, the Virgin's story--beginning with the Annunciation and ending with her coronation in heaven--unfolded in pictures before the devout reader.

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