Some Light for the Solstice
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Some Light for the Solstice - Geertgen to SInt Jans
The Nativity at Night by little-known Netherlandish artist Geertgen tot Sint Jans is arguably the most perfect illustration of the idea that Jesus was the Light of the World. He glows in the manger, illuminating the faces of the awe-struck angels, his mother and even the ox and the ass. Elsewhere Joseph looks on, and more angels tell the shepherds the glad tidings of great joy. As the evenings continue to draw in until this, the longest night, there is no better time to consider the light that is to come, and no better way than by looking in detail at this glorious, tiny painting, which is both a paean to the possibilities of painting in oils, and a true homage to Christmas. We will also put it into context by considering Geertgen's sources, his inspirations, and how it relates to his few other surviving works. While his name may never trip off the tongue, it is really worthwhile getting to know more about him.
Unlike other organisations, I'm afraid my talks are not recorded. This is, in part, because I am not an organisation!