The Mystic Nativity

Natasha O'Hear

in Contrasting Images of the Book of Revelation in Late Medieval and Early Modern Art

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199590100
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725678 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

The Mystic Nativity

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Chapter 4 focuses on another synchronic visualization of elements of the Book of Revelation: Botticelli's Mystic Nativity of 1500/1. Botticelli's possible links to Savonarola himself and particularly to the piagnone movement are discussed as an important part of the cultural, artistic, and reliaious context of the painting. The unusually personal Greek inscription at the top of the painting in which Botticelli explicitly links the painting (superficially a Nativity scene) with Rev. 11. 12, and possibly 20 provides the focus for the hermeneutical discussion of the work. Possible links with the roughly contemporaneous Mystic Crucifixion are also discussed in an extended consideration of The Mystic Nativity's contemporary function and meaning within its early sixteenth‐century Florentine context. The exegetical implications of the painting are also touched upon in this chapter and returned to in Chapter 6.

Keywords: Botticelli; The Mystic Nativity; Savonarola; piagnone; The Mystic Crucifixion; Florence; inscription; synchronic

Chapter.  14237 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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