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The Nativity

A work made of engraving in black on cream laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of engraving in black on cream laid paper.




Unknown artist
Italian, 15th century

About this artwork

This traditional Nativity scene shows the baby Jesus sleeping in a manger with the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, shepherds, and angels around him. The Annunciation to the Shepherds appears above this scene; the shepherds are shown with their flocks beneath cherubs carrying a banner that contains the Gloria prayer. At the top and middle of the border is a medallion of God the Father, who points toward this scene; other border medallions feature the prophets. Perhaps inspired by Alesso Baldovinetti’s Nativity, this unknown artist was most likely active in Florence toward the end of the 15th century.


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


Unknown artist


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.



Engraving in black on cream laid paper


23.8 × 16.6 cm (9 3/8 × 6 9/16 in.)

Credit Line

Bequest of Mrs. Potter Palmer, Jr.

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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