Hidden treasures

The Nativity Scene in the Icon Museum in Venice

Unknown places & works
Icone_Nativita

The Nativity Scene in the Icon Museum in Venice

The representations of the Nativity Scene in Western art are a classic theme tied to the wholly Italian tradition of the Nativity period.

Instead, in the Orthodox world there are totally unrelated items from our imagination. We could, however, visit the Museum of Icons of the Institute of Post-Byzantine Studies in Venice. Here several masterpieces are preserved, many of which were painted in Venice by Greek painters who fled here after the Turkish occupation after 1453.

Here one can admire a Nativity Scene of the second half of 1400s, which is far away from our art for both style and for the details in the picture. The Madonna in the centre, is in a kind of cocoon, sitting next to the child, warmed by the ox and the donkey. On the left, two shepherds are speaking with an angel, while further down, out of the main scene, Joseph is speaking with two travellers. The picture which is absolutely unrelated to our imagination is on the bottom left: two maids are taking care of the baby whilst preparing a bath for him.

This scene of the bath is taken from the apocryphal gospels, as well as the presence of the ox and the donkey, which instead, had more luck in our tradition!

If you are interested in this art so far yet so close to Venice you may visit the Icon Museum, which is open every day from 9am to 5pm.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Verona: Villa Mosconi Bertani in Valpolicella

villa-mosconi-bertani
Historical Curiosities

If you are passionate about wine and history, you cannot miss out on a visit to Villa Mosconi Bertani in Valpolicella (province of Vero...

View

Venice: The Sacristy of the Church of St. Stephen's

sacrestia-santo-stefano
Unknown places & works

In one of the most beautiful and sunniest squares in Venice there stands the imposing Church of St. Stephen, erected at the behest of t...

View

Vicenza: The Bridge of the Alpini in Bassano del Grappa

Ponte-degli-Alpini-Bassano
Historical Curiosities

If you are passionate about bridges, you cannot miss out on a visit to the Bridge of the Alpini in Bassano del Grappa, in the Province ...

View

Venice: The boats of Venice’s Lagoon

barche-veneziane
Local Traditions

Those arriving in Venice for the first time often think that the famous gondolas are the only boats plying the city’s canals... In re...

View

Top posts

Verona: The Sigurtà Park in Valeggio sul Mincio

sigurtà
Unknown places & works

Sigurtà Garden Park is a 60 hectare-large natural park located in Valeggio sul Mincio, in the province of Verona, about 8 km from Pesc...

View

Venice: The graffiti of the ancient merchants on Fondaco dei Tedeschi in Venice

Fondaco_dei_Tedeschi
Historical Curiosities

Each building located along the Grand Canal has an amusing story or a mystery to tell... After having been the Post Office building for...

View

Padua: Padua, the Iliad, the Aeneid and Dante's Inferno

padova-antenore
Mysteries & Legends

What do the Italian city of Padua and Dante's Inferno have in common? Apparently nothing, but if you dig in the medieval legends you wi...

View

Venice: The Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice as the film set of 'Casanova'

Sala_Capitolo
Film Locations

In 2005 the film ‘Casanova' was shot in Venice, directed by Lasse Hallström and which starred the late Heath Ledger. Among the many ...

View