Sandro Botticelli and the Strange Story of the Mystic Nativity
Top portion of the Mystic Nativity, Sandro Botticelli / Photo via Wikimedia Commons
The birth of Christ — the Nativity — is one of the central images of Christian iconography and an immensely popular subject for Italian artists through the ages. The Nativity immediately brings to mind Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus in a manger surrounded by animals, angels, and visiting kings. But in his enigmatic Mystic Nativity, the Florentine Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli makes us question all of our assumptions about this familiar scene.A visual puzzle Mystic
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