The Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry

The Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry Fol. 48 - The Annunciation to the Shepherds

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Fol. 48 - The Annunciation to the Shepherds

Limbourg brothers

In the foreground we have a group of poor, ragged shepherds who raise the eyes before an angelic apparition which one of the group points out, as he pulls on the hood of his companion and points skywards after dropping his crook. The scene is repeated in the distance with two other shepherds. The player with the bag pipe drone over his shoulder, seen from behind, with a flask tied to his belt, responds to the concert of the angels in his own manner, it seems. The angels play the lute, the drum carried from the neck, the shawm and the vielle, while in the lunette five other angels (half-lenght or bust) sing the Gloria from their score sheet. The hoods and bare trees tell us this is a winter scene. From a mountain in a crag in the rock, a brook runs from which small sheep drink. The backs of the sheep are marked red and blue according to the person they belong to. In the background stands Bethlehem, resembling the city of Poitiers, one of the capitals of John of Berry: the bell tower of the church of Saint-hilaire, the Maubergeon tower, keep of the palace of the earldom buttressed by round towers, and the old civic tower (which has since disappeared) are all recognisable.

 

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