What Lies Beneath

“Jacopo Tintoretto’s painting Nativity, in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, has long puzzled scholars because of its odd composition. As the museum reports, people wondered: “Why is only one of the major figures looking directly at the baby Jesus, who should be the center of attention in a nativity? Why does the woman at right have her arms flung out so dramatically, more a gesture of shock or alarm than joy? What is the old man above her looking at?” Could X-rays reveal the answers?”

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