Saint Anne Teaching the Virgin to Read

Fastolf Masterabout 1430 - 1440

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

The young Virgin Mary holds an open book as her mother, Saint Anne, guides her reading. Saint Anne's teaching of her daughter is described in The Golden Legend, a collection of popular stories about the saints. This image also reflects the use of books of hours, such as this one, as primers for children. The glittering gold, blue, red, and green checkerboard pattern that fills the background of the scene was a typical decorative motif in manuscript illumination around the year 1400.


  • Title: Saint Anne Teaching the Virgin to Read
  • Creator: Master of Sir John Fastolf
  • Date: about 1430 - 1440
  • Location Created: or England
  • Physical Dimensions: Leaf: 12.1 x 9.2 cm (4 3/4 x 3 5/8 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. 5, fol. 45v
  • Object Type: Folio
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: Ms. 5, fol. 45v
  • Department: Manuscripts
  • Culture: French or English
  • Classification: Manuscripts


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