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Contrasting Images of the Book of Revelation in Late Medieval and Early Modern ArtA Case Study in Visual Exegesis$
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Natasha F. H. O'Hear

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199590100

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199590100.001.0001

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The Mystic Nativity

The Mystic Nativity

Botticelli and the Book of Revelation

(p.105) 4 The Mystic Nativity
Contrasting Images of the Book of Revelation in Late Medieval and Early Modern Art

Natasha O'Hear

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 focuses on another synchronic visualization of elements of the Book of Revelation: Botticelli's Mystic Nativity of 1500/1. Botticelli's possible links to Savonarola himself and particularly to the piagnone movement are discussed as an important part of the cultural, artistic, and reliaious context of the painting. The unusually personal Greek inscription at the top of the painting in which Botticelli explicitly links the painting (superficially a Nativity scene) with Rev. 11. 12, and possibly 20 provides the focus for the hermeneutical discussion of the work. Possible links with the roughly contemporaneous Mystic Crucifixion are also discussed in an extended consideration of The Mystic Nativity's contemporary function and meaning within its early sixteenth‐century Florentine context. The exegetical implications of the painting are also touched upon in this chapter and returned to in Chapter 6.

Keywords:   Botticelli, The Mystic Nativity, Savonarola, piagnone, The Mystic Crucifixion, Florence, inscription, synchronic

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