Description The nativity of Christ in Bethlehem is represented as both solemn and joyous. A strong light mysteriously emanating from the infant illuminates the darkness and alludes to Jesus' role as the "light of the world" as described in the New Testament. The Bavarian painter Stern studied in Bologna before settling in Rome around 1700, and his style reveals his immersion in the Italian tradition. The night scene with the strong light that softly illuminates the figures was absorbed from the works of Correggio (ca. 1489-1534), who was revered in the 18th century for the sweetness and softness of his graceful figures. "Stella" is the Italian word for star, a translation of the German painter's last name. For more information on this painting, please see Federico Zeri's 1976 catalogue no. 391, p. 506.
|1/01/1950||Treatment||loss compensation; other|
- The Christmas Story in the Language of Art. The Washington County Museum, Hagerstown. 1950.
- The Nativity in Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1987-1988.
Provenance Cristoforo Suave (?) [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [name written in ink on back of original frame]; Don Marcello Massarenti, Rome [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [1881 catalogue: no. 156; 1897 catalogue: no. 269, as by Pompeo Batoni]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Signature] On the wooden base of the manger: IGNAZIO. STER[N] | FECIT.; [Transcription] In ink on the back of the original frame: Cristoforo Suave
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902
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