Nativity (1439-1443) by Fra Angelico

Nativity - Fra Angelico - 1440 - 1441

Artwork Information

ArtistFra Angelico
Date1440 - 1441
MediumFresco on Wall
Dimensions69 5/8 x 58 1/4 in (177 x 148 cm)
Art MovementEarly Renaissance
Current LocationBasilica di San Marco, Florence, Italy
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About Nativity

Fra Angelico’s Nativity is a renowned religious painting from the early Renaissance era, dating back to 1439-1443. The artwork depicts the holy child lying in a manger with his parents, surrounded by shepherds, animals, and wise men adoring him. The simplicity of the design enhances the elegance of the painting, highlighting natural elements such as light and color.

The parents are adorned with halos, while Joseph appears aged and has soft grey facial hair that reveals weariness. This adds depth to the painting by conveying both visually and emotionally an understanding of their experience as they faced new parenthood under challenging circumstances.

This fresco can be found on the wall of Cell 5 in the Convent at San Marco in Florence, Italy. Fra Angelico painted this masterpiece with remarkable talent that was rare during his time. In addition to this work being one of his best-known works in religious art history; it also inspired many artists who followed him.

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