The Nativity with Two Angels

Reference URL

The Nativity with Two Angels possibly early 1490s
The central figure of the Virgin Mary, kneeling in adoration of the Christ Child, derives from a compositional type invented by Filippino Lippi's father, Filippo Lippi. Filippino elaborated the theme by including the seated figure of Joseph and two angels who hold up Mary's mantle. This unusual gesture emphasises the linear patterns made by the drapery folds. The influence of Netherlandish painting is evident in the turreted towers and landscape background. The proportions of this small panel suggest that it was originally painted as part of a predella for an altarpiece.

Glossary Open


An artwork behind a church altar featuring religious scenes or imagery which was usually the focus for the celebration of the Mass.


The arrangement of different elements in a work of art.


Horizontal band below the main panels of altarpiece, decorated with small scenes that relate to those above.

Altarpiece, Composition, Predella


  • Acc. No. NG 1758
  • Medium Tempera, oil and gold on panel
  • Size 25.00 x 37.00 cm (framed: 34.20 x 46.20 x 7.00 cm)
  • Credit Purchased 1931