Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Starting with the Renaissance, artists produced diverse depictions of the Nativity

By Konstantina Karterouli
Domenico GhirlandaioNativity and Adoration of the Shepherds, Sassetti Chapel panel, altarpiece, 1485Santa Trinità, Florence
Strikingly dissimilar to Ghirlandaio’s idealized Mary is Caravaggio’s depiction of her in the Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence (1609). (In one of the most renowned—and still unsolved—cases of art theft, the work was stolen from the Oratory of San Lorenzo in Palermo in 1969, and has yet to be returned.) Here, Mary is depicted as a modern woman, wearing a sleeveless dress and chemise typical of working-class women of the time. Because the painting showed Mary weary from exhaustion after giving birth, it was perceived as not befitting her holiness. [link]
Michelangelo Merisi da CaravaggioNativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence, 1609Formerly in Oratorio di San Lorenzo, Palermo