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Room 6, Vitrine 48 & 49

• Nativity, Cusco School painting, 18th century.
• Nativity, polychrome woodcarvings with silver appliqués, 18th century.
• In both depictions, we find recurring figures, such as the mother with child, three individuals bearing offerings, animals, and the tree of life.
• The Catholic faith inherited images, traditions and festivities from other cultures. In Peru’s colonial-era art, elements of Andean religiosity were included, both implicitly and explicitly.
• In the background of the painting, next to the hut, barely distinguishable, we see a shepherd leading a camelid, reminiscent of protagonists featured in the origin and renewal myths of ancient Peruvians.
• The date of the Christian Nativity is closely aligned with the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere, a time when all cultures celebrated multiple festivities associated with the rebirth of the sun.

Protagonists – Nativity scene

• The Christ Child (Jesus Christ)
• Virgin Mary, Christ’s mother
• Saint Joseph, Mary’s husband
• The Three Magi, bringing offerings to celebrate the birth of Christ
• Animals of the stable (ox, cow and donkey)
• Three shepherds, one of whom leads a camelid
• Trees of life, connecting the manger with the heavens
• Star of Bethlehem