Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Christmas in July!

This week we are revisiting our Christmas episode discussing the variety of approaches with Nativity paintings from different eras.

We were lucky to get Dr. White on the podcast with us to talk about one of the oldest Christmas traditions: putting up the nativity scene!
Nativity at Night by Geertgen Tot Sint Jans

This Northern piece is a good example of an early Renaissance approach to the Nativity. Light becomes a huge focus in this one: the light emanating from the Christ child and the light in the background from the Angel's visit to the shepherds.
Adoration of the Magi by Fabriano

As an International Gothic piece, Fabriano really pulls from both Northern and Southern styles to build this piece. Then, of course, you have the Strozzi family in their illegal clothing, moonlighting as the Wisemen.

Nativity Guido Da Siena

Byzantine artists had to live by certain ideals set by the iconoclast, which prohibited realistic-looking figures because that was believed to be idolatrous. They still incorporate plenty of the typical symbols, including the star, the ox, and even a little bit of a continuing narrative. The patterned angel wings are a great touch too.  

Nativity Brian Kershisnik

 Brian Kershisnik is a local artist who has brought the Nativity into the 21st century with this piece! While he depicts the birth of Christ with some more realistic elements (see the midwives and Mary breastfeeding the newborn Christ), Kershisnik uses his unique style to give a sense of rejoicing among the angels that can be seen in centuries of work before this.

In closing, the Arts & Facts crew wishes everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa,  or just hope that you stay warm this December season! (... or think cold thoughts this July!)

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