Now look at this rather original portrayal of the birth of Jesus, by Jacques Daret. This 15th-century Flemish painter has used some unusual imagery for his Adoration, in which the shepherds and kings have been replaced by midwives.

The origin of this was a legend taken from the Apocryphal Gospels, which was a source of inspiration for many artists. According to this, St. Joseph left to search for midwives to attend to the Virgin Mary during the birth. When he returned, however, she had already given birth. The first midwife entered and when she saw that, miraculously, Mary was still a virgin despite having given birth, she thanked God for having allowed her to witness the miracle. But the second midwife refused to believe it and demanded to examine the Virgin Mary. At that very moment, her hands withered, and she begged God for forgiveness, touched the Child, and was healed.

St. Joseph is carrying a candle to indicate that it is night time. In the landscape in the background, you can see the Angel announcing the news to the shepherds.

(c) (R) 2013, MUSMon com S.L.
Text (a) Catalina Serrano Romero

Source: Wikimedia Commons
Author: File Upload Bot (Eloquence)
Permission: The work of art depicted in this image and the reproduction thereof are in the public domain worldwide. The reproduction is part of a collection of reproductions compiled by The Yorck Project. The compilation copyright is held by Zenodot Verlagsgesellschaft mbH and licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.