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.
- The Nativity
- Tempera on panel, transferred to canvas
- 26.2 × 46.3 cm; 10 5/16 × 18 1/4 in.
- Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection