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Christmas scene in a 15th century manuscript (detail) | by Virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland
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Christmas scene in a 15th century manuscript (detail)

Christmas, also known as Nativity, refers to the accounts of the birth of Jesus mainly based on the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Traditionally, scenes of Nativity, portray the Holy Family in the stable at Bethlehem. The Christ child is represented lying in a manger or upon the straw, whilst Virgin Mary kneels in adoration before Him. In some scenes Virgin Mary is represented lying next to Jesus. Joseph is portrayed standing at one side. The scene also includes depictions of an ox and a donkey, usually in the background, gazing quietly at the scene in front of them.

Some Nativity scenes depict one or more angels who proclaim Jesus as the savior for all people, and portrayals of shepherds who come to adore Him. There are also scenes representing the wise men (The Maggi ) who, after following a star, arrive to Bethlehem to bring gifts to Jesus.


Link to the "Christmas scenes" set


Manuscript title: Cistercian Gradual (Winter Part)


Origin: Prague (Czech Republic)


Period: 15th century


Image source: Luzern, Zentral- und Hochschulbibliothek, P.19.fol.: Cistercian Gradual (Winter Part)


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Taken on December 19, 2012