Mystical Nativity by Sandro Botticelli Card
The Mystical Nativity by Sandro Botticelli, c. 1500, is a brightly colourful egg tempera painting on wood depicting the Holy Family in a manger at the birth of Christ, with a host of angels processioning across the heavens and surrounding the Wise Men and onlookers. In this painting the figures of Mary, Joseph, Jesus and angels and the surrounding landscape of trees still show the flatness and clean outlines from Botticelli’s Gothic roots, with one foot set in the Renaissance world of depth and linear perspective.
Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) was a Florentine painter of the of the early Italian Renaissance who apprenticed under the master Filippo Lippi. With strong Gothic influences, the mature work of Botticelli reflected a study of antique classical sculpture and was noted for its linear grace and rhythm, flattened relief-like forms with strong contours, and subtle colouring. The complexity of meanings in Botticelli’s compositions, from sources drawn from classical antiquity, mythology and philosophy, enthraled scholars for centuries.