After three years of painstaking work, Piero della Francesca’s famous Nativity, from the early 1480s, has returned to public display in the National Gallery in London just in time for Christmas. After an uncommonly difficult restoration, carried out by the Gallery’s own Conservation Department, the world-renowned piece made its long-awaited return to view on 1 December.
Previously understood to have been part of an altarpiece, a new theory of teleology now reigns supremeand it is believed to have been created as a domestic painting instead. Perhaps even, some now argue, it was painted by Piero to adorn the walls of the principal bed-chamber in his own family’s palazzo.
To reflect this change of understanding more appropriately, Nativity is newly displayed in a carved walnut frame from the same period: another recent acquisition by the Gallery. It now hangs in a room alone, inviting visitors to reflect quietly on its re-affirmed beauty and relevant seasonal depiction of the well-known Christmas scene.Worth the wait: Piero’s “Nativity” unveiled in all its glory – Catholic Herald
Worth the wait: Piero’s “Nativity” unveiled in all its glory – Catholic Herald