Younger Master of the Gradual
St. Anne with Mary and Jesus

Manuscript illumination
From vol. 3 of the Wettinger Graduale, Aargauer Kantonsbibliothek, Aarau, Switzerland: MS. MsWettFm 3, folio 64v.

This illumination accompanies the first hymn in the Gradual for the Feast of the Birth of Mary, Salve, Sancta parens. Although the feast is about Mary, the image emphasizes her mother Anne and is thus a precursor of the Anna Selbdritt iconographic type that will become familiar in the 15th century. Like contemporary Birth of Mary images it places Anne in a richly adorned bed, but in a break with that iconography it presents Mary as herself a mother, with the Christ Child emerging from her womb just as she does from Anne's.

The text of the hymn is Salve, sancta parens, eníxa puérpera Regem: qui cœlum, terrámque regit in sæcula sæculórum. Eructavit cor meum Verbum bonum Dico ego opera mea Regi. Gloria patri et filio et spiritui sancto, sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper, et in sæcula sæculórum – "Hail Holy Mother, who in childbirth didst bring forth the King Who ruleth heaven and earth world without end. My heart hath uttered a good word; I speak my works to the King. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end."

View the entire manuscript page.
Read more about images of St. Anne and about images of the Birth of Mary.

Source: e-Codices