THE NATIVITY, CIRCA 1700

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The Mother of God is shown at the centre of a rocky landscape seated on a red bed before a large cave, Christ lies in a manger, wrapped in white bands; above the cave hovers the star of Bethlehem; on the left the three Magi present their gifts, on the right two shepherds raise their hands in astonishment at the angel's message, to the lower right, the Christ Child receives his first bath, to the lower left Joseph sits before a cave lost in thought, his head rests on his left hand; the shepherd who faces him, dressed in a blue sheepskin, raises his hand in an orator's gesture, he holds a staff in his other hand