The Nativity and Adoration of the Christ Child
This manuscript has been dated to ca. 1500.
The miniature above the text depicts the Adoration of the Christ Child, a popular late medieval variation on the traditional Nativity scene in which the Virgin lies on a bed and the Christ Child is laid in a manger. In the miniature below, Joseph is shown participating in the care of the newborn. Often in the iconography of the Nativity, Joseph is placed off to the side as a mere bystander in the events surrounding the birth of Christ. This scene reflects changing attitudes in the late Middle Ages regarding the role of Joseph as the loving foster-father of the Son of God. The prayer written between the two scenes, "Deus in adiutorium meum intende" (Incline unto my aid, O Lord), begins Prime of the Hours of the Virgin.
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