Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry

The Archangel Gabriel Appears to Zachary

Folio 43v

The archangel Gabriel appeared to Zachary and told him that his wife Elizabeth would bear him a son despite her great age. Faced with Zachary's scepticism, the angel struck him dumb until the birth ofthe child, who was to become John the Baptist (Luke I: 5-20).
In the Limbourgs' miniature Gabriel stands to the right of the altar. Zachary, in the midst of fulfilling his priestly duties, is deeply surprised by the annunciation of the angel, toward whom he turns his head.
Zachary's hymn according to Saint Luke begins beneath the illustration. The storklike bird in the border, emerging form a blue flower to snap up a snake, illustrates the admirable imagination of the Duc de Berry's artists.

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