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The Nativity

Photo credit: Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives

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Jacob Jordaens painted monumental compositions of the Nativity and the Adoration of the Shepherds on three occasions in the early 1650s. The Flemish artist, who was influenced by Calvinist teaching, occupied himself mainly with large religious works in this period. This work is painted over 15 panels and X-ray examination has revealed a smaller underlying composition depicting the Flight into Egypt, which Jordaens may have painted up to 30 years earlier. The painting was originally conceived on a smaller scale covering only the panels onto which the Flight was painted, but the artist later extended the composition by adding new panels around the original ones.

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery



The Nativity




oil on oak panel


H 126.3 x W 166.3 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased, 1931

Work type



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Normally on display at

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

Queens Road, Bristol, Bristol BS8 1RL England

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