The iconography of this Nativity is found very frequently in the late Middle Ages: in a stable, its roof partly destroyed, Mary is seen kneeling, hands together, before the baby Jesus. She is surrounded by Joseph, holding a candle, the flame of which he is protecting with one hand, and by a donkey and an ox.

This bas-relief also offers a decorative vocabulary of Italian inspiration: the clumsy perspective, the pilastered palace architecture replete with ornate columns and rinceaux, the cherubs resembling putti, the bust of a soldier in profile on a medallion… all these elements evoke the renewed interest in Antiquity which characterises the Renaissance.

This panel is likely to have originally adorned a monumental altarpiece shutter.

City of Paris municipal collection's website

City of Paris municipal collection's website

The collections portal can be used to search the collections of Paris’s 14 municipal museums (approximately 336,000 works, including 43,000 belonging to the Petit Palais).

It is also possible to download around 12,000 images of the museum’s works free of charge.

Access the Museums of the City of Paris collections portal
Autre base documentaire

Extern databases

Discover a selection of databases online presenting works from the Petit Palais or documents concerning the history of the museum.