John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton
jheaton

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Artistic Advent: The Nativity

Today's Advent artwork is dedicated to boliver, who sent me a very cool present: a personally autographed copy of Boris and Bella by Carolyn Crimi and Gris Grimly. I believe I may now have the largest collection of signed Gris Grimly books on the East Coast. Thank you very much!

Juan de Flandes (active 1496–1519)
The Nativity, c. 1508/1519
oil on panel
The Nativity
National Gallery of Art, Washington

After looking at yet another painting by an artist who seems to have never seen an actual human infant, I have to wonder if perhaps I'm missing some obscure theological point here. Could it be that the theology of the time suggested that the infant Jesus was just a small adult? I figure it's either that, or an inability on the part of the artists to find suitable life models. Infants aren't renowned for their ability to sit still, after all, and it's not like they could work from a photograph.

Detail images of this work are available on the National Gallery web site, as is a very short essay about the painting and the artist.
Tags: advent: 2004, art: painting
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