This prayer book was commissioned by Anne de Bretagne, wife of two successive kings of France, Charles VIII and Louis XII, to teach her son, the dauphin Charles-Orland (1492–1495), his catechism. It was painted in Tours by Jean Poyer, an artist documented as working for the queen. The book is richly illustrated, and its thirty-four airy, light-flooded miniatures are among the most delicate examples of late-fifteenth-century art.
St. Gabriel the Archangel (fol. 27v, left)
Poyer depicts St. Gabriel in a
robe and gold sash holding a
scepter topped with a fleur-de-
lis, signifying the archangel as
a special protector of the
The Suffrage to Gabriel emphasizes the archangel's role in
mankind's salvation at the moment of the Incarnation and alludes
to his role as weigher of souls
at the Last Judgment.