Domenico Bigordi, called the Ghirlandaio (Florence 1449-1494), and workshop – once attributed to Mainardi, Sebastiano (San Gimignano ca.1450 – Florence 1513); Christmas; altar-step compartment; ca. 1492; tempera on poplar, gilding © Musei Vaticani
In this precious tablet, Christmas is reduced to its main characters. Missing are the grotto, the donkey, the bull, and the shepherds, which usually grace the scene of the birth of Christ according to the Gospel of Luke, along with several elements from apocryphal texts. The surroundings are simplified to the bare minimum: one area represents the earth, while heaven is represented by a celestial cloud illuminated by a large star on which a choir of angels sing. Realistic depictions of Joseph, Mary, and the Child Jesus stand out on a gold background.
(Pope Francis –Christmas Mass at Night 2013)
Under the direction of Paolo Ondarza
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