José Bernardo de la Meana, The Birth of Mary

Upper register, retable of the Chapel of the Nativity
Cathedral of San Salvador, Oviedo, Spain

Meana provides a more homely treatment of this iconographic type. The father, Joachim, is emphatically present, and the child is in the arms of her mother, not of a midwife. Indeed, the traditional midwives are here replaced by servants who have thoughtfully prepared a dish of coals to warm the bedcovers.

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