Botticelli’s Mystical Nativity was hidden for many centuries. Once found, it earned its name from both the unusual Nativity symbolism and Greek inscription at the top.
Boticelli believed he was living through the Tribulation, which is clear in the mysterious inscription:
This picture, at the end of the year 1500, in the troubles of Italy, I Alessandro, in the half-time after the time, painted, according to the eleventh chapter of Saint John, in the second woe of the Apocalypse, during the release of the devil for three-and-a-half years; then he shall be bound in the twelfth chapter and we shall see [him buried] as in this picture.
It is the only surviving work with his signature.