Here are some slow downloads for Christmas eye candy. These are nativity scenes from the New York Metropolitan Museum of art online. There are not many of these before around 1300-1400 which I equate with the time when the increase of the Christian population in Christendom was very important. Before this time the emphasis was on the crucifixion.
Illuminated manuscripts “which are among the finest works of Armenian art as the “Word” have been the primary focus of veneration in the Armenian Church since its founding in the early fourth century. In the fifteenth century under Mongol domination in the region of Khizan near Lake Van (now in Turkey), Armenian artists developed the dramatic narrative style of illumination seen here. Colophons, notations in the text, identify this gospel as written by the scribe Margar for the Monastery of St. George at Mokk’ at the order of Bishop Sion. Typical for Armenian gospels, the illuminations of the life of Christ are grouped at the beginning of the text before the Canon Tables with an evangelist’s portrait introducing each gospel.
In Italy at around the same time, wealthy patrons sponsored Nativity Scenes from the best artists:
Fine enamelware made in workshops in Cologne in the 1300’s.