One of the most important scenes of the entire Martorana mosaic cycle is that of the Nativity, in the western vault of the central space.
In the depiction, the Virgin Mary can be seen at the centre, dressed in a blue robe and cloak, holding the baby Jesus, who seems to be almost wrapped in a tight white cloth, a foreshadowing of the future Passion. The Child is also surrounded by the ox and the donkey who warm him from the cold of the harsh winter with their breath. All the main characters are surrounded by the outline of a golden mountain that rises up and shelters them as if it were a cave. In fact, St Joseph, the putative father, plays a marginal role and is depicted in the lower left-hand corner, in the pose of a thinker. The illuminated mountain is also surrounded by three adoring angels who direct both their gazes and hands towards a six-pointed star whose light shines on the little one. A fourth angel, facing left, guides the way for the two shepherds. To the right, two herds of cattle, as well as a typically Byzantine scene depicting the washing of the Child, complete the picture.Natività di Gesù