The cult of the Virgin gathered pace in medieval Italy, stimulated by her role in the preaching of the new Dominican order. Simultaneously her visual presentation was developed through influences introduced from Byzantine sources via the Crusades. Siena and Florence were two great centers of ‘Marian’ imagery and Tom Duncan’s lecture will look at this phenomenon with particular reference to the Nativity. The story is told in two Gospels, Matthew and Luke, both choosing different narratives, the one emphasizing the Magi, the other the Shepherds. Famous and lesser know works of art will be used to show how this imagery developed, from Giotto to Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci.