(German, c. 1486-1520)
Delia E. Holden Fund 1968.220
Catalogue raisonné: Dodgson (British Museum) I.515.8 ; Geisberg 1404
Broadsheets, in which the images are accompanied by text, depict extraordinary happenings, omens, historical events, portraits, and traditional folktales. Nativity and Passion of Christ demonstrates clearly the practical function of broadsheets in a semi-literate society. The illustrations are placed around a German prayer which tells of Christ's birth and the redemption of mankind through his Passion. The Nativity with an Adoration of the Shepherds is represented in the center, above which a hand is shown indicating various scenes from the Passion of Christ, which would be pointed out as the prayer was recited. Members of the Christian estate are represented on either side: on the left is a group of ecclesiastics behind a figure of the Pope, and on the right a cluster of secular figures are assembled behind the Holy Roman emperor.
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