Description A classical temple defines the setting as the ancient Roman world and creates a "stage" for the scene of the Christ Child worshipped by Mary and the shepherds. In 16th-century stage design, classical buildings were thought the appropriate backdrop for plays about the lives of kings. Here, the setting may be meant to convey that Christ, even in his humble birth, is King of Heaven. Most of the surface is gilded, but the artist left the bronze uncovered in the areas of skin to evoke warmer flesh tones. Silver ornaments the brocade clothing and the temple, accentuating surface patterns. The inscription refers to Bonzagna by his nickname Parmense ("from Parma") and credits him with having "invented" the composition as well as having executed it.
|10/08/1987||Treatment||examined for condition; cleaned|
|8/28/1990||Examination||examined for condition|
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions . PARMA . INVENT .
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters
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