This is the last religious work we shall look at tonight, the strangest one, in which Botticelli addresses the mysteries of Christ. It's still the same subject as before, it's still a Nativity. This masterpiece is one of the most important one we have seen so far. It is in the National Gallery in London, where it has been thoroughly studied. Two mysteries surround this painting. On the first hand, this is the only work which Botticelli signed and dated, the only one of all the paintings he produced. On top, in five lines of text, he wrote in Greek: "I, Alessandro Botticelli, at the end of this year, 1501, have..." and it is thus signed and dated. 1501 is near the year of his death and, if it is signed and dated, it was to mark the event. On the other hand, it is the strangest Nativity one could possibly imagine: the cradle is still there, along with the donkey, the ox, the Virgin, Joseph, the Christ Child, but as for the rest, we are totally lost. There are no shepherds, no Magi; angels are everywhere, on the roof, in the sky, on the ground and people - people whom we don't really know, nor do we know the reason for their presence.
Details: angess crowned with laurels because they listened to Savonarola, urged on by the red, green and blue angels toward the Nativity are the right-hand group. In the center, an astonishing embrace of this angel and this Gentile, who are separating from one another, enabling us to clearly see the Devil trying to slip under a flagstone. A magnificent double movement, nearly a triumphal arch marking this composition's central focus.