DÜRER, Albrecht
(b. 1471, Nürnberg, d. 1528, Nürnberg)

Paumgartner Altar (central panel)

c. 1503
Oil on lime panel, 155 x 126 cm
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

The central scene represents the Nativity. Mary and Joseph are kneeling in the foreground of an architectural scene constructed according to the laws of central perspective, which opens out to the rear onto a broad landscape; next to them the numerous small figures of the donor family are kneeling before the newborn Christ Child. From the back, two shepherds seen in a perspectival foreshortening are climbing up to the place of Christ's birth, and on the left two more are watching the events. The centre of the composition are Mary and the Christ Child, and they are additionally emphasized by the baldachin-like roof. The Star of Bethlehem is emblazoned in the sky, and in the background an angel is announcing the birth of the Savior to the shepherds.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.