MedievalBooksOfHours

Les Enluminures

3. Hours of the Virgin
Infancy Cycle
Prime

Nativity

The Nativity is the story of the miraculous birth of Jesus of Nazareth, which took place in Bethlehem in a stable, because there was no room at the inn. The Gospels of Matthew (1: 25) and Luke (2: 7) give accounts of the birth of Jesus. The presence of the ox and the ass comes from one of the pseudo-Gospels (“and the ox and ass adored him”).

The Virgin Mary and Joseph flank the Christ Child, lying on the ground. In the background are two praying angels; an ox and an ass feed at the manger. Two men, probably shepherds, witness the scene through an opening in the wall of the shed. The margin includes foliate and floral ornament and a medallion with acanthus.