Les Enluminures

Morgan MS M.1093, f. 145r

9. Accessory Texts

Virgin Mary and Christ Child

This miniature introduces the Fifteen Joys of the Virgin (“Douce dame,” Sweet lady), which celebrate the joyful events in Mary’s life. Written in French, these prayers ask the Virgin to intervene for the salvation of the soul. The line “I kneel 15 times in front of your blessed image” led artists to paint the female donor of the book kneeling in prayer before the Virgin.

The Virgin Mary, who is seated with her feet on a tasseled cushion on a throne with carved canopy, holds the nude infant Christ Child, extending his left hand toward the female donor, who kneels in prayer. An angel playing the harp appears behind the Virgin. The setting is a church, with a groin vault, leaded-glass windows, and brocade wall hangings. Fantastic figures inhabit the foliate and floral borders.