Les Enluminures

3. Hours of the Virgin
Infancy Cycle

Annunciation to the Shepherds
Workshop of the Master of Raoul d’Ailly

The traditional illustration for Terce of the Hours of the Virgin is the Annunciation to the Shepherds. In this miniature, the single angel in the sky has caught the attention of all three of the shepherds who stand mesmerized at the news of Christ’s birth. In an unusual compositional move, the artist shows two shepherds who have turned their backs toward the viewer, while the third shepherd practically steps out of the frame of the miniature as he gazes upwards.

Made to order for Philippot of Nanterre, the wife of Thierry de la Cloche, the Seigneur of Roquoncourt, the Nanterre Hours is illustrated by artists from the Amiens workshop of Raoul d’Ailly. The workshop takes its name from the eponymous Hours of Raoul d’Ailly, executed for the Vidame of Amiens.