Genealogy of Christ

Genealogy of Christ The birth of Christ. Christ amongst the doctors in the temple.

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The birth of Christ. Christ amongst the doctors in the temple.

The miniature of the birth of Christ depicts a cave with an ox and an ass kneeling before the manger. In the foreground in front of them, sits the Virgin on a blanket holding baby Jesus affectionately in her arms. The scene is characterised by its great simplicity for it features neither St Joseph nor any other figures. It is the intimacy between mother and child that is presented to the faithful for them to meditate upon and worship, dispensing with any anecdotes.
One of the medallions in the Compendium of the Biblioteca Casanatense depicts Jesus amongst the doctors in the temple. This is the only scene of the life of Christ between his birth and his death depicted on the scroll and was undoubtedly chosen deliberately perhaps because it refers to the docetic and pedagogic nature of the episode, which prefigures similar functions of the priests and churchmen who may read the scroll.

Ana Domínguez Rodríguez
Universidad Complutense de Madrid

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