182 – The Rest of Christmas

Luisa Roldán, The Rest on the Flight into Egypt, c. 1690. The Hispanic Society of America, New York Happy Christmas! And yes, it is still Christmas – as I write it is only the fifth day of twelve, and on the Fifth Day of Christmas… but that doesn’t matter right now. As far as theContinue reading “182 – The Rest of Christmas”

181 – Candlemas comes early

Jacques Daret, The Presentation in the Temple, c. 1434-35. Petit Palais, Paris. Theoretically I should have written about this painting last week, as I talked about the theme – The Presentation in the Temple – in Monday’s talk. This coming week, Week 4 of The Childhood of Christ, I will include a lot of paintingsContinue reading “181 – Candlemas comes early”

179 – Surviving treasures

Jacques Daret, The Adoration of the Kings, c. 1434-35. Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. It’s December 1st – let the Advent Calendars be opened! I wrote one in 2020, and if you want something to read every day, and weren’t with me two years ago, I wrote about a single detail from Gossaert’s glorious AdorationContinue reading “179 – Surviving treasures”

178 – No crib for a bed

Jacques Daret, The Nativity, c. 1434-45. Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid. If you have ever enjoyed the obligation of seeing your child, or a friend’s child, or relative’s child – or anybody’s child for that matter – in a school Nativity play (now curiously abbreviated to ‘their Nativity’ as if you were about to watch theirContinue reading “178 – No crib for a bed”

An Advent Calendar – 24

‘Myrrh’ – Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume Brings a life of gathering gloom; Sorrowing, sighing, Bleeding, dying, Sealed in the stone-cold tomb. Once more John Henry Hopkins Jr. proves his knowledge of Origen. To complete the quotation that has built up over the last two days, ‘gold, as to a king; myrrh, as toContinue reading “An Advent Calendar – 24”

An Advent Calendar – 20

‘Joseph’ – Oh, Joseph! Poor Joseph! Always off to one side, half in the shadows, but with so much responsibility. Of course, the bible says next to nothing about him – apart from the fact that he was of the house of David, and was thought to be Jesus’s father. So almost everything we knowContinue reading “An Advent Calendar – 20”

An Advent Calendar – 2

Angels Angels have just as much as a right as the star to be present at the Nativity. They are mentioned in all four gospels, as it happens, although Mark only mentions them when Jesus is tempted by the devil, and John has one stirring the waters of the pool of Bethesda, and more appearingContinue reading “An Advent Calendar – 2”