1. The Annunciation
The astonishing painting by a Florentine monk, Fra Angelico reveals God’s angel appearing before Virgin Mary with the message of the Lord. Mary sits and listens to the angel with obedience. The hands crossed over body create an impression that she is protecting the new life there.
2. Joseph’s dream
3. Mary and Joseph on their way to Bethlehem
Hugo van der Goes’s picture portraits Mary and Joseph climbing down a rocky landscape. Mary climbs down from donkey by seeing the ankle breaking slope. Joseph helps her in walking down the slope with love and compassion.
4. The Census at Bethlehem
Luke in the Gospel describes the census at Bethlehem. “And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered… Joseph went to Bethlehem to be registered with Mary, who was with child.” Peter Bruegel the Elder demonstrates it through this picture. Many people are seen in the picture. Joseph and Mary are identified by the proverbial donkey.
Among all other nativity scenes, this particular picture of Federico Barrocci appears tenderly maternal. Mary kneels down before her God, both the child and the mother looks at each other. Her face is pregnant with her love for the child. Their gaze reveals the maternal bond between them.