The Nativity, by Gerard Van Honthorst

Here is a  beautiful depiction of the Nativity by the Dutch master, Gerard Van Honthorst (1592-1656).  In this great worrk of Dutch art we have Mary and Joseph before the infant Jesus along with three shepherds. The expressions on the faces of the shepherds are wonderful, ranging from deep piety, as seen in the shepherd in the foreground who is in a posture of prayer, to wonderment and even amusement in the two behind him. St. Joseph leaning on the head the cow is also a nice touch. He seems to embody gentle and quiet strength. I particularly enjoy the play of light and shadow, which makes the light emanating from the Christ child all the more impressive. We are reminded of what Jesus later said, “I am the light of the world”.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas!