Initial D: The Annunciation; Initial D: A Young Man Praying to Christ in the Clouds
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French, northeastern France, about 1300
Tempera colors and gold leaf on parchment
10 3/8 x 7 3/16 in.

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Within the initial D that opens the service of Matins in the Hours of the Virgin, the angel Gabriel announces to the Virgin that she will conceive the son of God. On the curling scroll held by Gabriel are the words from Luke's Gospel, Ave maria gratia plena dominus tecum (Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord be with you). Between them stands a stylized lily in a pot, a symbol of Mary's purity.

A man in prayer appears in a second illuminated initial D. At the bottom of the page on a line extending from the initial, two horsemen tilt at each other in a playful game.