Anunciació. Atribuida

The exhibition commemorates the 800 years since the creation of the first living nativity scene by Saint Francis (Assisi 1181 – 1226) on Christmas Eve of 1123. This event, which took place in Greccio, Italy, marked the beginning of the tradition of creating nativity scenes, one of the most widespread and deeply rooted Catholic traditions to this day.

The exhibition, hosted by the Diocesan Museum of Barcelona and the Barcelona Cathedral, revolves around the fruitful representation over the centuries of the Holy Family, as well as the ensemble of characters and events surrounding the birth of the incarnate God. Additionally, a selection of works on Saint Francis reflects the interest that this saint has aroused in artistic creation since medieval times.

The work highlights some of the most important painters of the Renaissance, such as Pedro Berruguete or Gerard de Saint Jean, as well as Baroque artists, including Alonso Cano, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Luca Giordano, Antoni Viladomat, Juan Carreño de Miranda, Vicente Carducho, Francisco Bayeu, and Francisco Herrera the Elder. In sculpture, the exhibition presents for the first time the 14th-century Annunciation, composed of two sculptures conceived to adorn the staircase leading to the pulpit of the choir of the Cathedral, with attribution oscillating between Jordi Joan or Pere Ça Anglada. Also, noteworthy is the large 19th-century sculpture of Christ Child by Ramon Amadeu, which for a long time was located at the main altar of the Cathedral.

The selection of oils, sculptures, and reliefs belongs to the Montserrat Museum, the holdings of the Diocesan Museum, as well as the heritage of the Barcelona Cathedral and the Church of Santa Maria del Pi. It also includes a set of works from private collections such as the Cajasol Foundation and Rivero – Bodegas Tradición Collection. The ensemble is completed with a nativity scene on the ground floor of the Diocesan Museum as a tribute to the extensive nativity scene tradition in Catalonia, in dialogue with the paintings in the apse of Polinyà from 1122, specially illuminated to highlight the Nativity scene, in this Romanesque ensemble from the 12th century, a focal point of this part of the museum.