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Mystic Nativity

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The crowds watched the thick black smoke rising up into the Florentine sky.They watched with a sense of self righteousness as the flames turned irreplaceable manuscripts, ancient scriptures, antique and modern paintings, priceless tapestries,as well as mirrors, and musical instruments into a heap of smoldering ash.  It's the 7th of February 1497. This is the evening of the notorious'Bonfire of the Vanities'.  Among the crowds is Florence's celebrated Renaissance master Sandro Botticelli, who burned several of his own paintings that evening.  The'Bonfire of the Vanities' was orchestrated by the charismatic and fanatical Dominican monk, Girolamo Savonarola, who was known for his apocalyptic sermons. After the ruling Medici dynasty was overthrown in 1494, Savonarola effectively had the city of Florence captivated, both politically as well as spiritually. Florence, at the time, was a city of extreme wealth. The citizens were patrons of the arts and cul