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Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Visitation

Jean Fouquet. (c. 1415/20 - c.1480)
Visitation. c. 1453-1456.
Miniature from the Book of Hours of Etienne Chevalier.
Body colour on parchment.
Musée Condé, Chantilly, France


The visit of the Virgin Mary to her cousin St. Elizabeth soon after the Annunciation, is described by St. Luke (1:39-56).

The scene shows the meeting of Mary, on the right, pregnant with Jesus, and her cousin Elizabeth, who was in her sixth month awaiting the child who would become St John the Baptist. The meeting took place at the entrance to the house of Zachariah, the husband of Elizabeth

When Elizabeth saw Mary and heard her greetings, 'the baby stirred in her womb.' And she said to Mary: 'Happy is she who has had faith that the Lord's promise to her would be fulfilled!'

And Mary answered:

'My soul tells out the greatness of the Lord, my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour; for he has looked with favour on his servant,lowly as she is.

From this day forward all generations will count me blessed, for the Almighty God has done great things for me."

Rogier van der Weyden.(1399/1400 - 1464)
Visitation of Mary. c.1440-1445.
Oil on panel.
Museum der Bildenden Kunste, Leipzig, Germany