Suzanne de Court, The Annunciation. Limoges, c. 1600. FM: M.42-1904 © Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

This piece is by Suzanne de Court, a Limoges enamel painter who ran her own workshop, active around the turn of the seventeenth century. Here, the deep blues and greens connect the outer space with the bedroom, and Gabriel’s message seems in a gentler continuum with the Biblical knowledge Mary seems to have been immersed in. It is as if the annunciation gives form to what she has been reading. The reading desk is foregrounded, while the bed-curtains and bed-posts in the background still retain the sense of an intimate space where childbirth can be imagined and realised.