The Master of the Triptych of Louis XII, named after a triptych of the Annunciation in the Victoria and Albert Museum which depicts Louis XII in one of the wings, is among the earliest proponents of the school of painted enamels of Limoges. The present example, which is in a remarkable state of preservation, is compositionally related to other enamels and illuminated manuscripts of the period. A less accomplished enamel of the Nativity was sold as part of the collection of Thomas Flannery (Sotheby's, London, 1-2 December 1983, lot 212) where it was catalogued simply as '16th century'. Yet a third Nativity is in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum, attributed to the Master of the Baltimore and Orléans Triptychs (Caroselli, loc. cit). In all three enamels, the overall arrangement of the various elements of the narrative are set out in a similar manner, and the positioning of the Virgin, St. Joseph and the Christ Child are all virtually identical, particularly between the present example and the Flannery enamel. Even the distinctive depiction of the ox and ass - the latter with raised head - are repeated in all three enamels.
Although the composition of the enamels is obviously derived from the same source, stylistically, the enamel offered here is more refined than the Flannery Nativity, and different from the Los Angeles example. The delicately painted faces of the Virgin and St. Joseph are more closely related to a triptych in the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore of the Annunciation and Nativity (Verdier, oc. cit.) which is also attributed to the Master of the Triptych of Louis XII.