Lintel (?) with the Nativity (01105)

BXM: 001105
Exhibition room: II.6 Franks and Latins in Byzantium

Date: 13th c.

Dimensions (cm): 45x 138x 19,5

The sculpture comes from Athens.  The front is decorated with the Nativity.  The composition, accompanied by an inscription, includes the Virgin, the swaddled Christ Child and two animals by the manger.  The style (squat figures with roughly worked faces and draperies) encourages us to compare this piece with a group of 13th-century, Western-style works (sometimes called "Franco-Byzantine"), also exhibited in the Byzantine Museum. They are the product of a (?) workshop, artistically linked with France and Italy which operated in Athens at the time of the [Latin] Duchy of Athens.