You are here:
Oil on wood panel
Framed: 102.5 x 76 x 7.5 cm (40 3/8 x 29 15/16 x 2 15/16 in.); Unframed: 85.2 x 59.7 cm (33 9/16 x 23 1/2 in.)
Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1958.320
The nativity was one of the most frequently depicted subjects in western art. The event marks the entrance of Christ into the world and the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. In the distance an angel announces the birth of Christ to the shepherds tending their flocks. One shepherd is already at the stable adoring the Christ child. In the background, the cityscape represents Jerusalem, where Christ would be crucified, represented here as a northern medieval city. Only Matthew and Luke describe Christ’s nativity in the Gospels, which led medieval writers and artists to amplify the event. Some scholars have suggested that the head of Joseph is a donor portrait. Gerard David was born in Oudewater, now located in Utrecht. He spent his mature career in Bruges, where he was a member of the painters’ guild. Upon the death of Hans Memling in 1494, David became Bruges’s leading painter of devotional panels. He was also a manuscript illuminator.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email email@example.com.
Is something not working on this page? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar.