(b. 1449, Firenze, d. 1494, Firenze)

The Nativity

c. 1492
Tempera on wood, 45 x 42 cm
Pinacoteca, Vatican

This painting depicts the Nativity according to the archaizing schemes of late-quattrocento Florentine art. The drastic compositional simplification and the reinstatement of the gold ground are indicative of a conservative tendency in Florentine religious painting of this period.

Formerly the painting was attributed to Bastiano Mainardi. The contribution of Ghirlandaio's workshop is assumed.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 2 minutes):
Michael Praetorius: Motet