The Nativity card

The Nativity

WAG 1193

Currently not on display


Possibly painted in the workshop of the Antwerp artist Marcellus Coffermans (about 1530-1578). His daughter, Ysabella, also worked as a painter. In the background the angel Gabriel is announcing Christ’s birth to the shepherds. The angel holds a banner inscribed in Latin: ‘Glory to God in the highest’. By 1857 this painting was thought to be by a German artist, Michael Wolgemut (1434/7-1519). He is best known as the teacher of the great Renaissance artist Dürer. Roscoe owned four portrait prints by Wolgemut. Apart from Dürer, Roscoe had a low opinion of the quality of German artists in general. He found their style ‘hard and tasteless’ compared to other north European painters and believed that their ‘barbarism imposed shackles even upon the genius of Dürer’. This painting was not attributed to Coffermans until 1963.