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The Nativity

A work made of stucco and polychrome.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of stucco and polychrome.


c. 1465


Donatello, Circle of
Italian, 1386/7-1466

About this artwork

This relief shows the Virgin worshipping the Christ Child, framed by an ox and an ass, while Saint Joseph sleeps at the right. It is typical of a kind of popular, devotional image from the 15th century that could be mechanically reproduced. This composition exists in numerous replicas, which attest to its popularity, and appears to derive from a directly modeled terracotta prototype, now in Prato, Italy. The Virgin and Child are based on an autograph terracotta by Donatello, but the remainder of the composition appears to have been expanded by another hand.


On View, Gallery 238


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


School of Donato di Niccolò Donatello


The Nativity


Italy (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Stucco and polychrome


72.4 × 78.7 × 12.1 cm (28 1/2 × 31 × 4 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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