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The Nativity
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Unknown
Ottonian, Mainz or Fulda, about 1025 - 1050
Tempera colors and gold leaf on parchment

MS. LUDWIG V 2, FOL. 18V

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The Virgin Mary reclines on a large, luxurious bed while the newborn Jesus rests in a cradle behind and Joseph sits at the right, lost in thought. This Nativity is set in a cave, evoking the site in Bethlehem that pilgrims revered as the place of Jesus' birth. Six angels peer over the entrance to the cave to see the baby Jesus within. In the top half of the miniature, an angel announces the birth of the Messiah to two shepherds tending their animals against a striped background of green and blue, meant to evoke grass and the sky.