Greetings friends! I’ve been browsing through art images with Christmas themes, hoping to pluck out that one unique work that I’d want to share with all of you for the season. Though there are so many to choose from, I believe I found this year’s winner. It’s a painting by Paul Gauguin and I’ll tell you why this is significant; last Easter, to honor that holiday, I featured Gauguin’s The Yellow Christ. Now I have gravitated not only to another Gauguin but one also set in Pont-Aven, Brittany, France, as was The Yellow Christ. It’s clear that Gauguin enjoyed a brilliantly creative and productive stay in that region, as he was profoundly inspired by the Breton countryside and its inhabitants, so much so that he used it as the backdrop for Biblical events. And he did it well. From now on Gauguin may be my “go-to” guy for religious artwork!
This is Christmas Night (The Blessing of the Oxen). I love the inclusion of animals in Christmas scenes. The oxen here are gentle, noble creatures, and Gauguin rightly made the shapes of their strong bodies the dominant forms of the composition.