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Netherlandish: 'The Birth of the Virgin (?)'

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The main scene shows the birth of the Virgin Mary. On the left can be seen Noah with the dove in the ark (Old Testament, Genesis 8: 7-8) and on the right: the vision of Balaam (Old Testament, Numbers 24: 17). Inscriptions give the precise Biblical references. The star seen in the vision of Balaam was interpreted as a symbol of the birth of the Virgin. The story of the ark was seen as symbolic of the redemption that the Virgin would provide through her son Jesus Christ.

This is probably one panel of a series. The picture was probably painted in Brussels and may date from about 1520.

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