Skip to main content
The Nativity, at Night
After Hugo van der Goes
/

The shining Christ Child lies on the ground surrounded by angels, while the Virgin Mary kneels to worship him and Saint Joseph stands holding a candle. Behind Joseph are two women in exotic jewelled turbans – the midwives who attended the birth. Angels hover in the air above.

Although this picture is of poor quality, and the style of its underdrawing and painting technique suggests it is from the early sixteenth century, the composition is close enough to the Portinari Triptych of around 1475 (Florence, Uffizzi) to suggest a connection with Hugo van der Goes. It is one of three surviving versions of a lost Nativity by him. The painter must have had access to patterns from van der Goes' workshop and used them to create a pastiche based on the lost painting, which was probably made in the early 1470s and might have been the missing left wing of the Monteforte Altarpiece (Gemäldegalerie, Berlin).

Key facts
Artist After Hugo van der Goes
Artist dates active 1467; died 1482
Full title The Nativity, at Night
Date made probably about 1520-30
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 64.6 x 47.1 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1854
Inventory number NG2159
Location in Gallery Not on display
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo