The Mystical Nativity, 1500 by Sandro Botticelli

This Botticelli's picture has long been called the Mystic Nativity because of its mysterious symbolism. It combines Christ's birth as told in the New Testament with a vision of his Second Coming as promised in the Book of Revelation. The Second Coming - Christ's return to earth - would herald the end of the world and the reconciliation of devout Christians with God.

The circle of twelve angels at the top of the painting represent the twelve hours in a day, and the twelve months of the year. The angels represent faith, hope, and charity, dressed in the corresponding white, red, and green robes. The angels are pulling people out of a state of religious limbo, saving them from the demons. The words on the angels ribbons, which cannot be seen except with infrared refletography, shows that the words correspond to the twelve privileges of the Virgin.