A rare, double-sided panel featuring an image of Christ’s Nativity which has been described as one of the greatest and most intriguing works of art at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts – has arrived home in time for Christmas after undergoing major conservation.
The Flemish panel is dated around 1520 and painted by Antwerp Mannerist Jan de Beer, depicts on one side the unusual Nativity at Night, and on the other the Apocryphal tale of Joseph and the Suitors.
Believed to be a section of a large, multi-part altarpiece, it has been redisplayed in the University of Birmingham-based galleries after extensive treatment by Stratford-upon-Avon conservator Stewart Meese.
Director Nicola Kalinsky said: ‘It is wonderful to have this remarkable panel back in the gallery, with both paintings looking resplendent again now that Stewart has completed his work. I think our visitors will agree that the new display in the Green Gallery at last does justice to this magnificent and important work of art.’