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Beuronese Murals - The Birth of Jesus

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Beuronese Murals
Vision of the Blessed Virgin to Isaiah and David
Birth of Mary
Presentation of Mary
Marriage of Joseph and Mary
The Annunciation
The Visitation
Birth of Jesus
Adoration by the Magi
The Presentation of Jesus
The Flight into Egypt
Jesus teaching in the Temple
Wedding at Cana
St. Benedict's Conversation with St. Scholastica
The Funeral of St. Scholastica
Death of St. Benedict
The Ascent of St. Benedict
Carrying of the Cross
The Crucifixion
Descent from the Cross
Pentecost
The Dormition of Mary
The Coronation
All Pages

The Birth of JesusNativity

The basilica panel of "The Nativity of the Lord" is fairly traditional in its iconography. Four angels sing "Gloria in excelsis, and an ox and ass watch as Mary and Joseph adore their newborn son laying in a manger. The architecture of the stable is reduced to a few beams. In the apex of the roof is the star of Bethlehem, casting light on the Infant Jesus, whose hand is raised perhaps in blessing. All eyes - angelic, human, and animal - gaze with adoration on the Infant Jesus, who is surrounded by an aura of scalloped light (which, as in the rest of the basilica frescoes, indicates divinity).

The banderoles contain texts from the angelic hymns ("Gloria in excelsis Deo" and "Pax hominibus"). They are written upside down for the benefit of the singing angels. Mary is shown with hands clasped in prayer, Joseph with on hand raised in wonderment and the other holding his flowering staff. The ox and ass are details not present in the Lucan Gospel, but come from the apocryphal Pseudo-Matthew. The two animals call to mind the text from Isaiah (1:3): "The ox knows his master, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel does not know..."