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Holiday Art Exhibit

"The Story of Christmas in Classic Art"


We're celebrating all Holiday traditions at a reception on 12/1/2018, and we've put together a display of classic art that tells the story of Christmas.  The Exhibit runs through the end of the month, and the will include Holiday music and refreshments.

From the ten prints we chose for our display, you’d never know how much the world changed from 1335 to 1643—the time frame represented in our Exhibit. 

During the Middle Ages, there was a lot of political intrigue surrounding the papacy, and there were many accusations of corruption.  When new ideals of humanism began to develop during the Renaissance, the relationship between God and Man was being reconsidered.

Still, in the world of art, all these changes were set against a Christian backdrop, as most artwork was commissioned by or in honor of the Church. 

Our display tells the Biblical story of Christmas through artwork created from 1335 through 1643, beginning with Mary getting the message of what her future will hold.

An angel also visits Joseph, who is engaged to Mary at the time, to let him know (shown above).

Mary and Joseph are depicted on their way to Bethlehem in one scene, while another artist recreates the census taken at Bethlehem.

We included just one out of the thousands of Nativity scenes created during this period of time. 

Other prints show shepherds being surprised by an angel announcing the birth of Christ, the journey of the Magi, the visit of the Magi, and the adoration of the infant by shepherds said to recognize His divinity.

Finally, we see the Holy Family exhausted on their way home, hiding from a King who’d like to kill their Baby.

Here's a bit about what you'll see:

  1. "The Annunciation" by Fra Angelico, (c. 1440)

When Cosimo de' Medici rebuilt the Convent of San Marco, he commissioned Fra Angelico to decorate the walls with intricate frescos.  In this work of art, an angel delivers the news that the Virgin Mary is pregnant.  Mary’s face is full of emotion as she crosses her hands over her body, as if protecting a new life inside her.

  1. "The Dream of St Joseph" by Phillippe de Champaigne (1643)

This is the painting above.  According to the Gospel of Matthew, Mary is engaged to Joseph when he discovers she is pregnant, and God sends an Angel to explain the divine conception.  Champaigne shows Joseph getting the news, in a dream, that Mary’s child is from God.

  1. "Mary and Joseph on the Way to Bethlehem" by Hugo van der Goes (1475)

This is a detail from van der Goes famous Portinari Altarpiece at the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence, Italy.  On their way to Bethlehem, Joseph is shown doing everything he can to protect mother and unborn child from the hardship and danger of the rocky landscape.

  1. "The Census at Bethlehem" by Peter Bruegel the Elder (1565)

According to the Gospel of Luke: "And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered… Joseph went to Bethlehem to be registered with Mary, who was with child."   Though there is much speculation about deeper meanings to Bruegel’s creation, the scene shows people going about their daily business a few hours before the start of the Christmas vigil.  Only the donkey distinguishes Joseph and Mary from the rest of the chaos in the scene.

  1. "The Nativity" by Federico Barrocci (1597)

Of all the many thousands of nativity scenes in western art, we think this one is the most tenderly maternal.   Mary kneels humbly before her God, but she is equally full of love for her newborn Baby.

  1. "Annunciation to the Shepherds" by Taddeo Gaddi (c. 1335)

Gaddi depicts the scene described in Luke’s Gospel where shepherds are surprised by the sudden appearance of an angel proclaiming "The Savior has been born".

  1. "The Procession of the Magi" by Benozo Gozzoli (1459)

Gozzoli shows the three Magi and many others of the rich and powerful.  He is also said to have included his own likeness in one of the portraits.  His work is what has made the Magi Chapel in Florence famous.

  1. "Adoration of the Magi" by Botticelli (1475)

Botticelli also includes himself (at the far right) in this classic scene.  He also includes members of the Medici family, who commissioned the work.

  1. "The Adoration of the Shepherds" by Giorgione (c. 1508)

This is a scene is one of intense meditation; the rustic, yet dignified, shepherds are the first to recognize Christ's divinity and they kneel accordingly.  Mary and Joseph are also spellbound and full of love for the Baby.

  1. "Rest on the Flight to Egypt" by Orazio Gentileschi (1626)

Members of the holy family are fugitives on their way home, hiding from Herod and his massacre of the innocents.  The parents are too exhausted to cradle the Baby.

We hope you'll stop in to check out our display and/or join us at our reception, December 1, 2018, from 4 - 6 PM at the Artists' Market Community Center, 114 Richardson Avenue, Shohola, PA.


In The Works...

Our grass roots approach invites all members of the community to get involved in our projects at any stage of development.  Our monthly meetings are open to the public, so please join us.  Here's some of the themed Events we're working on for 2019:

January 5--A "New Beginnings" Event that will include artwork related to the theme, and a presentation on how New Years are celebrated all around the world.

Local artists work hard all year to be able to display one of a kind gifts for the holiday season at this December 1,2018 event.

February 2--"A Celebration of Black History";

April 6--"The Gratitude Event"

July 6--"A Celebration of the Wild West"

October 5--"Egypt"

Sullivan Sings!

Sullivan Sings! began as a project of the BAAA, and has now spun off into a separate entity.  It includes a YouTube Channel, a music label, music publishing, and artist promotion.  Please check out our separate web site here:  BAAAMusic

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