NICCOLÒ DI TOMMASO
St Bridget and the Vision of the Nativityafter 1372
Tempera on wood, 44 x 54 cm
This panel provides one of the earliest representations of the Nativity according to the vision that appeared to Saint Bridget in Bethlehem during her pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1373. On that occasion, the Virgin, keeping the promise made to Saint Bridget many years earlier in Rome, revealed that her divine son was born to her while she was on her knees, without help and without suffering. The Vatican painting, almost contemporary with the miraculous vision, probably describes it with extreme accuracy as to detail, thus making the panel something of a historical document.