Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Art

Since this is December, and Christmas is in December, and because I love Christmas and I feel I am in the Christmas Spirit, I would like to share with you a few posts about... Christmas! And not just any kind of Christmas --my favorites of Christmas. This post will focus on my favorite Christmas art. The next one will be on music. What will follow may include posts on decorations, food, and traditions!

I just got a little giddy.

Getting right to it --my favorite Christmas art!

(Nativity by J. Kirk Richards)
I love this one because of the placement of the Star in the Heavens with Heaven embodied in a baby boy just below it. I love the dark colors, and that my mind knows the expressions on their faces without having to be told what they are...

(Angels by Mark Mabry)
The angels are real because they have been photographed (yes, I know it's not "real," but stick with me) and I love the idea of angels joyfully gliding through the air to witness the birth of their own Savior! 

(The Road to Bethlehem by Joseph Brickey)
This one has been a favorite for years. I see how Mary is looking at that shepherd boy, and the deeper meaning in all of it is almost palpable. Does the boy know she is special? Can he tell? Can he feel Christ's presence? Joseph is so focused on providing for his sweet wife; I have such a respect for him as well. Everything about this painting makes me stop and ponder. 

(Nativity by Brian Kershisnik)
This is a newer favorite of mine and I adore it. This is exactly how birth is! The mother, nursing her brand new baby, the father (yes, I know Joseph is the adopted father, but you know what I mean) is overcome with relief that both mother and baby are okay, midwives nearby to assure safety, and concourses of spirits from the premortal and postmortal realm, rejoicing and loving and hoping and praying. Although the joy at the birth of Jesus Christ was (I can only imagine) the most sacred birth of all time, I find joy and beauty in knowing that every child's birth can be met with the exact same scenario. In fact, this is so reminiscent, to me, of #6's birth, that I get emotional whenever I think about this painting. 

(Kissing the Face of God by Morgan Westling)
This is exactly how I feel all mothers feel when they hold their sweet babies. The artist of this piece painted it after hearing the song, "Mary, Did You Know?" and the lyrics, "When you kissed your little baby, that you kissed the face of God?" 

(Mary by Liz Lemon Swindle)
Again, baby kissing! I love it so much. Not just because all mothers kiss their babies (as I said), but because it is so reminiscent of the natural affection I have had with each of my infants. I just want to hold them and touch them and protect them and love them...

(Mary Smiling at Baby by Jean Keaton)
Is there anything more beautiful than a baby looking adoringly at his/her mother? I wonder if Mary knew who He would become. I wonder if He knew, too. It's just a beautiful and happy painting of mother and Son. 

(L'Innocence by William Adolphe Bouguereau)
I adore this painting. I have a copy of it in my home (or I did, and I will, once I hang it up!). When I first saw this, it took my breath away. I love the symbolism of Mary holding both Christ and the lamb, and I find the lines of it just beautiful. Bouguereau reminds me of Waterhouse, too, because his female paintings are simply stunning. 

What kind of art do you like at Christmastime? Which paintings help you remember Christ? Are there any that feel more realistic to you than others? 

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