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Miniatures illuminated in colors and gold. Printed on vellum in red and black.

In this Books of Hours, the Hours of the Virgin begin with “Matins,” introduced by the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary. This full page miniature appears at the start of the Hours of the Virgin, following the Gospel Lessons.

Text: “Sequuntur hore beate Marie virginis secundum usum Romane ecclesie.”

Translation: “Every hour of the Blessed Virgin Mary according to the use of the Roman Church.”


This Renaissance example exhibits the characteristic balance of art of the age. Here, the composition of the three figures in the scene- Mary, Gabriel and the dove (symbolic of the Holy Spirit) - form a triangle, symbolic of the Holy Trinity. The three figures all have halos above their heads. In this scene Mary sits in the chamber with a book on her lap. She is dressed in blue, and here her head is covered. Gabriel kneels before her holding a staff, and points to the heavens with his right hand.

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