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The Nativity

A work made of tempera on panel, transferred to canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of tempera on panel, transferred to canvas.




Perugino (Pietro di Cristoforo Vannucci)
Italian, 1445/46-1523

About this artwork

Perugino’s serene and decorous art was widely influential in his native region of Umbria and beyond, most famously through his contact with the young Raphael. These four panels, together with another one depicting the Resurrection, now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, once constituted a predella—a series of small pictures, often with narrative content, forming the base of an altarpiece. In this case, the painting that was positioned above the predella as the focal point of the altarpiece is unidentified. The predella scenes depict moments when Christ’s special nature was revealed: his birth, his baptism by Saint John the Baptist in the river Jordan, his conversation with a woman of Samaria at the well of the patriarch Jacob, the Resurrection, and his appearance to Mary Magdalene after the Resurrection.


On View, Gallery 205


Painting and Sculpture of Europe




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.



Tempera on panel, transferred to canvas


26.2 × 46.3 cm (10 5/16 × 18 1/4 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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