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.”