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Religious Subjects > Nativity

Two Panels of the Nativity 


This panel was once a cupboard door with egg-and-dart moulding on the frame and elaborate marquetry spandrels and pillars giving an overall effect of great richness and skill.  The carved oak scene is The Nativity, so close in design to the following, simpler panel that they are both obviously based on the same engraving.  The rail above Joseph’s head has been interpreted differently by the two carvers: as a saddle on a rack in the first scene and as a high window on the other.  In each the ass reaches up to feed from the hay in the manger while the ox gazes towards the Mother and Child.  In the foreground the second panel has a water barrel added to the objects brought by the family to the stable.

Nativity 3

On this third oak oak panel Joseph kneels at the right, holding a set square to indicate his trade as a carpenter; the ox and the ass watch over the Christ Child's crib, the ox licking the Child's outstretched hand.

Nativity 4

This alabaster panel retains much of its original gilding and would seem to be a Malines carving, but the monogram has been found on two other octagonal alabaster panels, which are presently held at the Landesmuseum in Hanover.  These are considered to come from a workshop in Lower Saxony, as is another of the same form in the Catharijneconvent in Utrecht.

Nativity 5

17th-century oak panel of The Nativity with applied moulded frame.  Netherlandish c.1600.  The large figures of the Virgin and Joseph wear contemporary dress, the child lies on a stool or small table, while the ox and the ass look on from beneath the tiled stable roof.