Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry

The Visitation

Folio 59v

According to Saint Luke, after the Annunciation the Virgin Mary left Galilee to go into a city of Judah, where she visited Zachary and Elizabeth, her cousin (see also folio 38v).
The latter, inspired by the Holy Ghost, welcomed her with the words, "Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Luke I: 42-43) In answer the Virgin intoned the Magnificat, which is transcribed below the miniature and continues onto the next page.
This scene takes place inside the house of Elizabeth and Zachary. Both women stand before a chimney and a bench upon which lies an open book; Elizabeth grasps Mary's wrists.
Pots, a pair of bellows, and a round wicker-covered bottle stand on or hang from the fireplace, in which we see two andirons. The window's wooden shutters are open, clearly revealing a red-roofed fortress.
Although the Limbourgs had already treated this subject, Jean Colombe has repeated it at the head of the Magnificat. The initial letter with its rabbit and the border foliage date from the time of the Limbourgs.

small image (21KB) --- large image (205KB) --- The Virgin and Elizabeth (large) (262KB)

Next folio --- Previous folio --- Return to index