Saturday, 24 December 2011

Advent Calender - Day 24

So today is the final day of Advent! I thought that it was only appropriate that I pick something traditional.

As my masters and indeed my preference goes towards the Florentine Renaissance it was only sensible to pick one of the multitude of paintings from this period and this location. So, after a while, I selected Leonardo's unfinished adoration at the Uffizi. I think that when you look at this work it is evident that it could never have been completed. He has infused the image with so much spatial complexity, and such a variety of scenes, including those in the foreground and the background, that I would suggest to complete it would be unachievable. However I am very grateful that this exquisite underdrawing exists as it allow us an insight into his working practice, showing a variety of ancient sources such as the charging horses in the background on the left, taken from a medal. It made sense to choose a Leonardo image as the artist is forefront in my mind after my visit to the exhibition:

However I could not resist putting in a few more equally incredible nativity scenes so here is an extra arty treat!

Duccio, Nativity, 1308-11

This is the earliest of my nativity selection and still includes the gold background that is more common in this period, It is the only one of my selection to do so. In the flickering candelight of the church this would have given the painting a very other-worldly feeling.

Giotto Nativity from the Scrovegni chapel in Padua

This unlike the previous two images is a fresco (wall-painting) This was the image from my advent calender at home today, which was a nice suprise when I opened it!

Botticelli's Mystical Nativity 1500-1501

To finish, as I could go on for a long time, I have selected a painting which you could see in London's very own National Gallery, this is a truly bizarre nativity image, breaking with many of the previous conventions.

So finally, HAPPY CHRISTMAS!! It has been great to share some of my favourite wintery images with you this advent!

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