...in which I share some of my favorite medieval research resources and methods for the benefit of others interested in also writing about the Middle Ages

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Christmas in Medieval Art

I thought it'd be fun to celebrate Christmas through medieval art this year. So here's the Christmas story as told in scripture accompanied by some of the beautiful medieval artwork I've been able to find. I haven't tracked down the source for all of these pictures yet, but I'm working on it. I'll add sources as I find them. (If you know a source that I don't have listed, I'd love you to leave it in a comment.)

I hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed putting it together. :-)

Luke 1:30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou has found favor with God. (I love the colors in the picture!)

Luke 1:31 And behold, thou shalt conceive in they womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. (painting circa 1310)

Luke 1:38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. (Note how the artist painted Mary and the Angel inside the letter R.)

Luke 1:41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb.

Luke 2:4-5   And Joseph also went up from Galilee…unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem…To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

Luke 2:6-7   And so it was that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered…[but] there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 2:7 And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger. (I can’t help but like this one for the expression on Mary’s face. Hard to believe she might not have felt this way about being stuck in a stable, at least just a little.)

Luke 2:7 And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger. (Here’s another version of yesterday’s verse. Joseph doesn’t look too comfortable scrunched into the letter O.)

Luke 2:8-9 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them. (I love the sheep in this one!)

Luke 2:10-11 And the angel said unto [the shepherds], Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings or great joy, which shallbe to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:13-14 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Luke 2:16 And [the shepherds] came with haste and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. (Look at those sweet little angels!)

Matthew 2:1-2 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. (12th century) 

Matthew 2:9 & 11 …and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. (I have to admit, this little drawing in the margin of a book is one of my favorites!)

Matthew 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. (Adoration of the Magi, 1304-06, Capella Scrovegni, Padua)

 Matthew 2:12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, [the wise men] departed into their own country another way.

 Luke 2:19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

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