Art of Jesus’ birth

In this lesson we looked at several piece of art showing Jesus’ birth. In each we tried to identify how four key teachings came out:

  • Jesus is fully human AND fully God.
  • Jesus somehow reconnects human beings to God.
  • Jesus, the “light of the world”, brings God’s peace.
  • Jesus is the most important person ever to live.

The main picture we looked at was Botticelli’s Nativity:

Botticelli Nativity

Do you remember the things we talked about? Your essay needs to try to explain what they mean:

  • Jesus is right in the middle
  • Jesus is naked
  • Angels and human beings are hugging at the bottom
  • A demon is running away in the bottom right
  • Angels are coming down out of heaven

Here are some of the other pictures. Remember to ask yourself…

  • Who or what is the main thing in the picture? How do you know it is the main thing?
  • Where is the light coming from?
  • What can we tell about the way the main characters are feeling? How can you tell? What is it trying to say?
  • What is happening in the rest of the picture? What do these things tell you about the main bit?

Ghirlandaio’s Nativity:
Ghirlandaio Nativity

Previtali’s Nativity:
Previtali Nativity

Rubens Adoration

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