An angel appeared to the shepherds (right background) and they came to adore the Child Jesus (foreground). The Three Kings (centre background), guided by a star, are seen on their journey to Bethlehem to honour the new-born Jesus. The angels hold scrolls.

The picture was probably painted by a follower of Sodoma, perhaps from his design.

Key facts

Artist dates
1477 - 1549
Full title
The Nativity with the Infant Baptist and Shepherds
Date made
probably about 1540-60
Medium and support
Oil on poplar
119.7 x 96.5 cm
Acquisition credit
Presented by the Widow of Ernest Hartland, 1932
Inventory number
Location in Gallery