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Thursday Evening Hours Open Thursdays until 9 p.m., sponsored by Constellation Energy.

Planning to visit the Walters Art Museum?
Check the holiday hours and events.

The Christmas Story: Picturing the Birth of Christ in Medieval Manuscripts

Date
Thursday, December 3, 2009Sunday, February 28, 2010
Time
10:00 AM–05:00 PM on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
The Christmas Story: Picturing the Birth of Christ in Medieval Manuscripts

Christmas, one of the most joyful seasons for Christian communities worldwide,  celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ and the dramatic events that took place during his infancy,— from his nativity in a lowly stable, to the angel’s announcement of this news to local shepherds, to Herod’s murder of all the babies in Bethlehem, and his narrow escape from that slaughter.

As it is recounted in the Christian New Testament, the Christmas story is remarkably short on specifics. In rendering the story into pictures, it fell to medieval illuminators to supply the details. Even today, popular representations of these events are based on images devised during the Middle Ages.

In the early 16th century, Cardinal Patriarch Marco Cornaro commissioned one such illuminated manuscript, the famous Cornaro Missal. A missal is a book containing all of the prayers and responses to celebrate the Roman Catholic Mass throughout the year.

In the early 1600s, the missal was bound in a Roman binding of elaborately tooled leather in a French fanfare-style design. A masterpiece of Italian Renaissance art by an anonymous artist from northern Italy, the missal was later acquired by the Austrian branch of the Rothschild family. Seized by the Nazis on the eve of World War II, the missal was returned to the Rothschilds after the war and later sold by them at auction. Now in a private American collection, the Walters plans to display the manuscript as the focus of a temporary manuscript show over Christmas.

View the Cornaro Missal

Add to Calendar 03-12-2009 10:00:00 28-02-2010 17:00:00 15 The Christmas Story: Picturing the Birth of Christ in Medieval Manuscripts As it is recounted in the Christian New Testament, the Christmas story is remarkably short on specifics. In rendering the story into pictures, it fell to medieval illuminators to supply the details. Even today, popular representations of these events are based on images that were first devised by the artists of the Middle Ages. 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland, 21201 (The Walters Art Museum) The Walters Art Museum info@thewalters.org false dd/MM/YYYY

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Featured Events

Watch Conservators at Work

Date: 10/24/14 - 10/20/15

Time: 12:30 PM - 04:00 PM

Did you know that people who preserve and restore artwork are called art conservators? Watch a conservator at work in the galleries. Inquire at the Information Desk about times and locations.

Drop-in Art Activities: Medieval Times

Date: 12/06/14 - 12/28/14

Time: 10:00 AM - 03:00 PM

Travel back in time to experience the lives of knights and kings! Touch chain mail, design a protective shield, and arrange colors and shapes to shine in the sun. Visit our Knights Hall to play a game of chess and then design a board game of your very own in our studio!

The Christmas Story in Art Walk-In Tour

Date: 12/21/14

Time: 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM

In the spirit of the season, come enjoy a tour examining religious art that celebrates the story of Christmas. This tour will feature Renaissance and Baroque paintings depicting the birth of Christ. This tour is part of our free, docent-led, walk-in tours. No reservations are required; just walk in and enjoy.

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