Botticelli’s “Mystic Nativity”


Sandro Boticelli, Mystic Nativity

This beautiful painting has been one of my favourites for many years. I was always touched by the beautiful twelve angels dancing in a circle at the top, the three angels gracing the roof and the three angels at the bottom raising the weak and battered human figures off the ground. The apocalyptic motives of death and rebirth of the soul are quite apparent, if you look carefully. The top figures dancing in ecstasy are so different from the troubled human figures and the banished demons at the bottom.
If you wish to find out more about the historical background of the painting, you can read an excellent article “Botticelli and the dark psychology of the mystic nativity.”

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17 Responses to Botticelli’s “Mystic Nativity”

  1. Truly magical painting. Thank you Monika.
    It is sincerely a blessing knowing you.
    Thank you for sharing that.
    ✿ღ✿ღ.¸¸ღ♫*¨`*•..¸ƸӜƷ ✿ღ ✫❀
    •❤٠·˙✿*¨`*•..¸ღ ✫❀
    (¯`✿´¯) (¯`✿´¯)
    *`•.¸(¯`✿´¯)¸.•´ * *Ḻ✿ṽ℮
    *✿*.` •.¸.•´*✿*• .¸¸.`•´¯✿★ ° . . ¸. * ¸ . ●   . ☾ °☆  . * ● ¸ . ★ ° :.  . • ○ ° ★  .  * .      .   °  . ● .   ° ☾ °☆  ¸. ● .  ★  ★ ° ☾ ☆ ¸. ¸  ★  :.  . • ○ ° ★  .  * . .  ¸ .   °  ¸. * ● ¸ .    ° ☾ °  ¸. ● ¸ .  ★ ° :.  . • °   .  * :. . ¸ . ● ¸    ★  ★☾ °★ .     .  °☆  . ● ¸ .   ★ ° .  • ○ ° ★  .       * .  ☾ °  ¸. * ● ¸     ° ☾ °☆  . * ¸.   . ¸. * .¸. *
    ★ ° . . 


  2. A fascinating view, Monika. Thank you for bringing it to us. Warm wishes for whatever you celebrate this season.


  3. I had not seen this one before, thank you for the introduction Monika.


  4. ptero9 says:

    I had not seen this wonderful painting before! It’s lovely, and quite emotional and layered from the angels down to the underworld figures.

    I love the creche at Christmas and as a child would sit for hours imagining life at that time, not necessarily for its religious significance, but because the scene was exotic to my young mind.
    Thanks for the link too Monika!


    • Your comments are always much appreciated, Debra. The linked article is quite interesting but I always see so much more than “just” Christianity in this kind of paintings. I would not call myself a pagan – just an incurable universalist. I also love the creche symbolism: it is neither in a house, nor outside, both human and of the animals, both human and divine, surrounded by kings and paupers… A wonderful myth.


      • ptero9 says:

        Yes, I agree with you. I may enjoy some aspects of catholic theology, I did even officially join the church in 2005, but as with most of my spiritual adventures, it didn’t stick, meaning I no longer have any inclination to attend Mass, or identify myself as Catholic.

        But I do enjoy the richness of the monastic tradition and the contemplatives. As well, catholicism, while guilty of many terrible crimes, did absorb pagan ideas and sensibilities, and remains today a very big community with a lot of sub worlds.

        Around the time of the Botticelli painting, I see that things were changing, and that images became suspect, and the underworld became officially demonized. What sprang from those times was a new theology, more literal than ever, as the Bible was now printed and available to all becoming an idol itself.
        The dead were in time all moved into Abraham’s bosum where they could no longer be prayed for. The removal of the invisibles still haunts us today as ghosts that are feared.

        Sorry, long response!

        You nailed it by observing the indoor/outdoor blend! Love that image, and yes, that is what makes it so powerful to contemplate!


      • You are so knowledgeable, Debra. I was very pious as a little girl but rebelled against it as a teenager and never looked back. You remember I’m Polish, right? So I grew up surrounded by it all. Still, I am looking forward to celebrating Christmas back in my home country. Hope you enjoy yours as well. Warmest greetings.


      • ptero9 says:

        Thanks Monika! I do take pleasure in celebrating Christmas with my husband, who as a child was raised Jehovah’s Witness and never allowed to celebrate anything. I love his appreciation for the very simple elements of all holidays.
        Have a wonderful time visiting your homeland 🙂


  5. Don says:

    I too have not been introduced to the painting before Monika. It’s brilliant, and reading your link has helped me to grasp just something of its depth of meaning.


  6. Thanks – great Christmas image. I’ve long enjoyed Boticelli and seen some of his work in person, but I hadn’t seen this one before.


  7. Beautiful painting… thank you for bringing awareness to it… IAM going to find time to read the article…. Have you had chance to read my january challenge at all… wondered if you would like to write about your own awakening experiences…. take care and here’s to a magical new year… Barbara x


    • Thank you, Barbara. I am looking forward to reading all the testimonies in the series. I am not sure I would have anything interesting to say, though… Maybe it is all before me yet. Happy New Year to you!


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