North Side - N3B4

NE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 NW

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Nativity of Christ

The sequence of narrative capitals depicting the stories of Mary and the infancy of Christ, which are introduced by the representation of the Annunciation in capital N2B3, continue here with the scene of the Nativity of Christ.

The east and west sides of the of the capital carry the story forward with the crowned newborn in the crib, flanked by an ox and a donkey on one side, and the Virgin in the birthing bed on the other. A midwife joins Mary and unveils the scene by drawing aside the curtain. On the north side Joseph is represented pensively slouching with his head resting in his hands – a gesture of contemplative absorption that, in this case however, suggests divine revelation and placates Joseph’s doubt about the virginity of Mary (Matt. 1,20).

Next to the obvious stylistic affinity between the capitals of this narrative segment (N2B3 - N5B6) and the capitals representing the story of Jacob (W1EB16, W1WB16, W5WB20), with regard to the formation of figures, gestures, and narrative structure, there are resemblances in certain motifs, which constitute a close connection and homogeneity among the capitals of Aosta. Thus, for examples, both the birthing bed of Mary as well as Joseph’s chair as furniture props, identical in the same way as the motif of the curtain.