Workshop of Bartolo di Fredi, Adoration of the Shepherds, Tempera on poplar, gilding, 1383-1388, Vatican Museums, Art Gallery © Musei Vaticani
In this depiction of the Nativity, Mary appears larger than the other figures, to underline her role as the Mother of God. The Child Jesus lies wrapped in swaddling clothes in a manger shaped like a sepulcher, prefiguring His sacrificial death. A choir of angels, the star, and the dove – symbol of the Holy Spirit – represent God’s presence and involvement. The shepherds appear in the scenes of the Annunciation and the Adoration. The musical instruments and the flock of sheep recall ancient depictions of the countryside.
(Pope Francis – Christmas 2016 – Midnight Mass)
Under the direction of Paolo Ondarza
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