Christ’s Nativity by Daniel Mitsui
Sacred Art of Daniel Mitsui
8" x 10" - Open-edition Giclée Print, Hahnemühle German Etching paper
Product #: SY609
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The original ink drawing of Christ’s Nativity was created by artist Daniel Mitsui. While the original piece of artwork was auctioned, Biretta Books is happy to offer these high quality Giclée prints of Christ’s Nativity .  Mitsui has met with great success in the world of sacred and liturgical art, being recently commissioned to by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to beautify the Pontifical Book of Ceremonies with his artwork. Below is Pope Benedict XVI looking at some of Daniel Mitsui’s artwork…

The original piece of artwork ofChrist’s Nativity measures 8” x 10” and was made with colored inks on calfskin vellum. It is formatted as a page from a Biblia Pauperum.  The open-edition Giclée prints of Christ’s Nativity available through Biretta Books are signed in pencil by the artist. Giclée prints are made on a spray-jet printer from a high-resolution digital scan. Hahnemühle German Etching paper is the substrate.

The Biblia Pauperum (Bible of the Poor) is collection of illustrated typologies that circulated both in illuminated manuscripts and in blockbooks during the late Middle Ages. Each page of the book shows a particular event from the life of Christ, juxtaposed with two events from the Old Testament prefiguring it. The pictures are paired with rhymed Latin versicles and short explanations. Four prophets are also included, each holding a banderole with his prophecy of the event.

For the Nativity of Our Lard, the two prefigurements are Moses before the Burning Bush, and the Flowering of Aaron’s Rod. The text, translated, reads:

  Without pain thou givest birth, Virgin Mary (Star) of the Sea.

  It glows and kindles, but the bush is not burned by fire.

We read in the Book of Exodus, chapter 3, that Moses saw a bush burning, and it did not burn up, and he heard the Lord speaking to him from the bush. The burning bush which is not consumed figures the Blessed Virgin Mary giving birth without corruption of her bodily integrity, because a virgin she gave birth and remained uncorrupted.

  This is contrary to custom: A little rod bears a flower.

We read in the Book of Numbers, chapter 17, that the rod of Aaron one night leafed and bore blossoms, which rod figured the pure Virgin Mary who was to give birth without male seed to a Son, that is, Jesus Christ ever Blessed.

The prophecies are as follow:

  Daniel: A cornerstone was cut out of a mountain without hands.

  Isaiah: A child is born unto us, and a son is given to us.

  Habacuc: O Lord, I have heard Thy hearing and was afraid.

  Micah: Thou Bethlehem the land of Juda shall not be the least among the princes of Juda.

Christ’s Nativity by Daniel Mitsui artwork was inspired by various illuminated manuscripts, blockbooks, tapestries and panel paintings of the late Middle Ages, most obviously the Nativity panel from the 14th century Vyššì Brod altarpiece. The background ornament is composed of tiny plants and animals, and was inspired by millefleur tapestries.

Daniel Mitsui is an artist specializing in meticulously detailed ink drawings inspired by the religious art of the Middle Ages. He lives in Chicago with his wife and two sons, and is a parishioner at St. John Cantius Church. More of his work can be seen at