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

Text: “Deus in adiutorium meum intende… Domine ad adiuvandum me festina.”

Translation: “Incline unto my aid O God… O Lord make haste to help me.”


This hand painted Renaissance Era example shows three shepherds dressed in the typical fashion of working class men of the sixteenth century. The shepherd in the center holds bagpipes and a large staff. Two dogs lie in front of him. The shepherd to his right stands with an open palm, as if speaking. The shepherd behind him gazes up at the Angel Gabriel and seems to be shielding his eyes. Gabriel appears on a blue cloud; he holds a banner that reads, “Gloria in Excelsis Deo.” The number of shepherds depicted in illustrations of the Christmas Story is often three, though no number is mentioned in the Bible.


Artwork in the public domain