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

1547-51
Cáceres Cathedral, Cáceres, Spain

Balduque's style is of his time, but the subject matter has archaizing details. The Angel Gabriel is dressed as a Roman soldier and carries a sceptre, as in Byzantine and pre-medieval western images. And 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.

This image in full resolution
More of the Annunciation
More of the Nativity

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