Roque de Balduque, The Cáceres Altarpiece: Detail, The Nativity

1547-51
Cáceres Cathedral, Cáceres, Spain

Balduque's style is of his time, but the subject matter has archaizing details. For example, the artist does not follow the 16th-century practice of picturing the Nativity as Bridget of Sweden did, with Joseph and Mary kneeling in adoration as the child lies naked on the floor. Instead, he puts the child back into the manger that was specified by scripture and always pictured in pre-Bridgettine images. The adult figures kneel not in prayer but merely for the practical purpose of getting the baby properly ensconced.

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Photographed at the cathedral by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.