Baldino da Surso
Nativity , Madonna , St. Joseph , Shepherds , Christ , Creche
This Nativity scene is documented to have been a part of a larger assemblage, originally including now-lost sculptures of St. John the Evangelist and St. John the Baptist, made for in 1473 by Baldino da Surso for San Michele in Pavia, where this central scene is still housed. Baldino was the son of the sculptor Urbanino da Surso, who was born in Venice, worked in Florence, and then settled in Pavia, where his son assisted him and then started a shop of his own. The large foreground Madonna occupies most of the space, with Baby Jesus lying on her long robe, as was customary. The rough knobby ground beneath suggests the humility of the Holy Family, but Baby Jesus is shielded from any direct contact by his mother's sheltering cloak. Ancedotal details, including the carefully delineated bricks in the walls, terracotta tiles on the rooves, and even a curious spectator staring down out of his window, enliven the scene. Smaller on the hills behind, the shepherds receive of a vision and are led to come pay tribute to the newly born Christ Child. Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.