This is one of the panels of the high altarpiece of the church of S. Alessandro, Brescia.

The solemnity of the central scene of the Nativity is relieved by a vision of rejoicing angels occupying the upper part of the panel. On either side, panels depict Saint Alessandro (lower left) and Saint Jerome in penitence (lower right) with his lion, a stone and a crucifix. Above these lateral panels are Saint Gaudioso (upper left) and Saint Filippo Benizzi (upper right). The strongly Venetian character of Romanino's work is most apparent in the heroic and richly coloured figure of Saint Alessandro, who is in the place of honour, at the right hand of the Holy Family, as befits the patron saint of the church.


  • Title: The Nativity
  • Creator: Girolamo Romanino
  • Date Created: about 1524
  • Physical Dimensions: 265 x 117.2 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on wood
  • School: Italian (Brescian)
  • More Info: Explore the National Gallery’s paintings online
  • Inventory number: NG297.1
  • Artist Dates: about 1484 - about 1560
  • Artist Biography: Romanino was the leading painter, with Moretto, of Brescia in the first half of the 16th century. His style differs from Moretto's in the heightened expressiveness of the figures and landscape. This is due to the impact of Dürer and German art. Like Lotto, Romanino was active as a painter of frescoes and altarpieces - and occasional portraits - over a wide area of northern Italy, including Padua, Cremona and Trento. Brescia remained his chief place of residence and he became a municipal councillor there in 1559. His son-in-law was the painter Lattanzio Gambara, with whom he collaborated. The influence of Giorgione and Titian is apparent in Romanino's handling of paint, and in his treatment of subjects.
  • Acquisition Credit: Bought, 1857

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