The Nativity
  • Artist Mäster E. S. (German, verksam ca 1450 - 1467)
  • TitleThe Nativity
  • Dating ca 1450
  • Technique/MaterialCopper engraving print on paper
  • DimensionsTryckyta: 14 x 20,9 cm
    Papper: 14,2 x 21,3 cm
  • AcquisitionGift of Oscar Quensel, 1911
  • CategoryCopper Engraving
  • Inventory NumberG Q 1495/1911
  • Display StatusNot shown in the museum
Signatures etc.
Exhibition History
One of the early masters of printmaking signed his works with the initials E. S., hence the name of this anonymous engraver. Master E. S. was active between 1450 and 1467 in Southwestern Germany and Switzerland and was probably a trained goldsmith.

In The Nativity, the infant Jesus rests directly on the ground, with Mary’s cloak spread under him as a simple bed. The lake in the background is probably a regional reference to Lake Constance.

In an engraving, the subject matter is carved into a metal plate, which is then soaked in printing ink. After this the plate is wiped off, and the ink left in the carved lines is transferred to a sheet of paper pressed against the plate. Goldsmiths often coloured their patterns and then made impressions of them on paper, a practice which led to the discovery of engraving.