For the most part,
the chief figures in the painting are as described in the vision of St.
Bridget of Sweden: the angels and parents kneeling in adoration of the
naked child, St. Joseph with a candle, Mary's hands pressed together
and her head tilted toward the Savior. The one un-Brigettine note is
the light that emanates from Mary's head, seeming to outdo the light
from the child.
The depiction of the
stable as a ruined church both recalls the Golden Legend's account of
the collapse of Rome's Temple of Peace at the moment of Christ's birth
and points to the eucharistic significance of the tiny body that is the
center of attention.
More of the Nativity