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The Stable in Bethlehem

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

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


c. 1520–40


Jean de Gourmont
French, 1506-1551

About this artwork

For this Nativity scene Gourmont used the backdrop of a caved-in classical building to herald the dawning of a new era. Much grander even in ruins than an actual stable would have been at the time of Jesus’s birth, the setting emphasizes the contrast between the elaborate architecture of Antiquity and the humble beginnings of Christianity.

Only one documented painting and about thirty engravings testify to the extraordinary art of Jean de Gourmont. This, his most famous engraving, was completed during his visit to Lyons, and reveals the artist’s extraordinary command of perspective.


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Prints and Drawings


Jean de Gourmont


The Stable in Bethlehem


France (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 ivory laid paper


Sheet, trimmed within platemark: 19.8 × 19.6 cm (7 13/16 × 7 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Potter Palmer, Jr.

Reference Number


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