Birth of Christ, detail.
 La Tour, Georges du Mesnil de, 1593-1652

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Title:Birth of Christ, detail
Notes:

In this detail from de la Tour's moving portrayal of the birth of Jesus, we see Joseph's hand tenderly guiding the candle's light to illuminate the Christ-child's face. In the Isaiah passage for this day, the prophet foretells the coming of Christ with the language, "Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." In this peaceful painting, Joseph's first gesture tells of his own fatherly love.

The artist, Georges de la Tour, painting in France in the early 17th century, was deeply affected by a religious revival based upon the teachings of the 12th century mystic, Francis of Assisi. His work's power is drawn from the balance of opposites: dramatic, chiaroscuro lighting combined with still, simple, almost solid geometric human form.

Date:1645-1648
Artist:La Tour, Georges du Mesnil de, 1593-1652
Building:Petit Palais
Object/Function:Painting
City/Town:Paris
Country:France

Scripture:Luke 2:1-20
Lectionary links:CNatv
General Subject:Motherhood
Birth
Library of Congress Subject:Christian art and symbolism -- France
ICONCLASS Number:73B2

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Attribution:La Tour, Georges du Mesnil de, 1593-1652. Birth of Christ, detail, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=46620 [retrieved April 19, 2021]. Original source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Georges_de_La_Tour_-_The_New-born_(detail,_Mus%C3%A9e_des_Beaux-Arts_de_Rennes).jpg.
Record Number:46620 Last Updated: 2021-01-18 08:36:26 Record Created: 2006-07-25 00:00:00
Institution:Vanderbilt University Unit: Collection: Art in the Christian Tradition