Working in Florence along with Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo in the first years of the sixteenth century, Fra Bartolommeo looked to the most lyrical, harmonious works of these artists in developing his own intimate style. The young Baccio della Porta came under the spell of the ardent Dominican reformer Savonarola, joining his order as Fra (Friar) Bartolommeo in 1500 and forsaking his artistic career for several years. Returning to painting in 1504, he invested this work with a new spirituality.


  • Title: The Nativity
  • Creator: Fra Bartolommeo (Baccio della Porta) (Italian, 1472–1517)
  • Date Created: 1504/07
  • Physical Dimensions: 34 × 24.5 cm (13 3/8 × 9 5/8 in.)
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: The Art Institute of Chicago
  • Media: Oil on panel
  • Credit Line: The Art Institute of Chicago, Ethel T. Scarborough Fund; L. L. and A. S. Coburn, Dr. and Mrs. William Gilligan, Mr. and Mrs. Lester King, John and Josephine Louis, Samuel A. Marx, Alexander McKay, Chester D. Tripp, and Murray Vale endowment funds; restricted gift of Marilynn Alsdorf, Anne Searle Bent, David and Celia Hilliard, Alexandra and John Nichols, Mrs. Harold T. Martin, Mrs. George B. Young in memory of her husband, and the Rhoades Foundation; gift of John Bross and members of the Old Masters Society in memory of Louise Smith Bross; through prior gift of the George F. Harding, Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Kimball, Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson, and Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester collections, 2005.49
  • Artist: Fra Bartolommeo (Baccio della Porta) (Italian, 1472–1517)

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