The Nativity

c. 1457
Location: not on view
You can copy, modify, and distribute this work, all without asking permission. Learn more about CMA's Open Access Initiative.

Download, Print and Share


This painting is believed to be a remaining component of a six-panel altarpiece. The large central panel is now preserved in the Museu National d’Art de Catalunya in Barcelona. Ferrer collaborated with the painter Pere Garcia de Benavarri on this commission. Spanish works like these often feature elaborate treatment of the gold background, evident here in the exuberant raised decoration (called pastiglia) in the haloes. As a symbol of his dominion over the world, Christ holds an orb in his left hand; he bestows a blessing with his right hand. The Virgin kneels above him in rapt adoration. Using the wattle fence almost as a church pew, two shepherds express humble piety; one removes his hat and the other clasps his hands in prayer.
The Nativity

The Nativity

c. 1457

Jaume Ferrer the Younger

(Spanish, Catalonia died c. 1460/70)
Spain, Catalonia, 15th century

Visually Similar Artworks

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.