Arnolfo di Cambio, Madonna of the Nativity

Arnolfo di Cambio and workshop
Sala del Paradiso
Original location
Cathedral, medieval facade
White marble

Marble reliefs showing Mary reclining between angels after the birth of Christ. The scene is completed by a flock of grazing sheep relief. Arnolfo di Cambio sculpted them from 1296 to 1300. The statues on the left portal of the original facade of the Cathedral were dedicated to Our Lady. The scene is set in the stable, with a Mary tired after the birth, Joseph and the newborn Jesus; in the background are the heads of the donkey and the ox. The relief of the flocks would have originally been completed with the shepherds and the herald angel bringing news of the birth of Christ. The two surviving angels, in adoration, were placed on high on either side of the scene. The sculptures were designed to be viewed from below, and would have appeared in the round from this viewpoint. 

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Sala del Paradiso