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Picturing a World

Shepherds dance (and dog)

Peasants dancing are an appealing late-medieval, early-Renaissance extension of the Annunciation to the Shepherds motif in manuscript illustrations. (For the full page, click here. For another example, click here). The sung French carol Allons, gay, gay, gay, bergères by Guilaume Costeley comes out of this development (for an excellent performance, click here). In the 20th C, the medieval danced carole in the form of the farandole was incorporated into folk-art santon sets in Provence, which add dozens of Provençal peasants and townspeople to the canonical Holy Family, shepherds, and Magi of other Nativity sets. What I've never seen before, however, is such a realistic depiction of someone trying to induce his puzzled dog to join the dance. Dogs at the Annunciation, yes, but now I'm on the lookout for another one dancing!

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