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

Click to enter image viewer

Use the Save buttons below to save any of the available image sizes to your computer.
Download Thumbnail image:
Download Medium image:
Download Large image:
Title:Birth of Christ, detail

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.

Artist:La Tour, Georges du Mesnil de, 1593-1652
Building:Petit Palais

Scripture:Luke 2:(1-7), 8-20
Lectionary links:CNatv
General Subject:Motherhood
Library of Congress Subject:Christian art and symbolism -- France

(Use this link to refer back to this image.)

Copyright Source:,_Mus%C3%A9e_des_Beaux-Arts_de_Rennes).jpg
Copyright Permission:Please visit the URL in the Copyright Source field on this page for details about reusing this image.
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. [retrieved April 14, 2024]. Original source:,_Mus%C3%A9e_des_Beaux-Arts_de_Rennes).jpg.
Record Number:46620 Last Updated: 2021-11-07 06:23:21 Record Created: 2006-07-25 00:00:00
Institution:Vanderbilt University Collection: Art in the Christian Tradition