A Little Medieval Christmas Spirit

Susan here, continuing the Yuletide celebration with a little bit of medieval holiday spirit. Some of the most beautiful, touching, whimsical and enduring holiday images are by medieval artists, and these artworks still convey the brightness, meaning, and grace of the holidays. Here are a few of my favorites – my virtual Christmas card to you. Enjoy!                    

          Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a peaceful new year! 

Geertgen_tot_Sint_Jans _The_Nativity_at_Night _c_1490

Geertgen tot Sint Jans, Nativity at Night, c. 1490, London National Gallery

 

Les_Très_Riches_Heures_du_duc_de_Berry_Janvier

Limbourg Brothers, New Year's Feast, Les Tres Riches Heures de Duc de Berry, 1416, Musee Conde, Chantilly, France
Venceslao_Gennaio_Castello_Buonconsiglio_Trento_c1400_detail

Snowball Fight, Venceslao Gennaio, mural, 15th c., Castello Buonconsiglio, Trento, Italy

 

Mummers bodleian

Mummers and Dancers, English manuscript, 14th c., Bodleian Library

 

Angelic-host-christmas-card-pack-400x400-11693

Angels, 14th c. manuscript, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

 

Gerard david nativity met 1480s

Gerard David, Nativity, 1480s, The Metropolitan Museum, NYC

 

Gerard david nativity met 1480s

Gerard David, Nativity, detail.

55 thoughts on “A Little Medieval Christmas Spirit”

  1. Gorgeous, Susan — my faves are the snowball fight, and also the mummers and dancers. Many years ago, in a small village on the border of Greece and Yugoslavia, we were woken by mummers, very much like those in the picture — all men, dressed as different characters in an ancient story. I remember one in a wolf mask, another in a bear mark — and they were made of actual wolf and bear skulls that had been handed down, father to son.

    Reply
  2. Gorgeous, Susan — my faves are the snowball fight, and also the mummers and dancers. Many years ago, in a small village on the border of Greece and Yugoslavia, we were woken by mummers, very much like those in the picture — all men, dressed as different characters in an ancient story. I remember one in a wolf mask, another in a bear mark — and they were made of actual wolf and bear skulls that had been handed down, father to son.

    Reply
  3. Gorgeous, Susan — my faves are the snowball fight, and also the mummers and dancers. Many years ago, in a small village on the border of Greece and Yugoslavia, we were woken by mummers, very much like those in the picture — all men, dressed as different characters in an ancient story. I remember one in a wolf mask, another in a bear mark — and they were made of actual wolf and bear skulls that had been handed down, father to son.

    Reply
  4. Gorgeous, Susan — my faves are the snowball fight, and also the mummers and dancers. Many years ago, in a small village on the border of Greece and Yugoslavia, we were woken by mummers, very much like those in the picture — all men, dressed as different characters in an ancient story. I remember one in a wolf mask, another in a bear mark — and they were made of actual wolf and bear skulls that had been handed down, father to son.

    Reply
  5. Gorgeous, Susan — my faves are the snowball fight, and also the mummers and dancers. Many years ago, in a small village on the border of Greece and Yugoslavia, we were woken by mummers, very much like those in the picture — all men, dressed as different characters in an ancient story. I remember one in a wolf mask, another in a bear mark — and they were made of actual wolf and bear skulls that had been handed down, father to son.

    Reply
  6. Glorious art…the use of light in the top/first Nativity is amazing. Was fascinated by the cynical commentary in the background of the Christmas feast, but the glee on the faces of the snowball fighters was my favorite.
    Happy New Year to all!!

    Reply
  7. Glorious art…the use of light in the top/first Nativity is amazing. Was fascinated by the cynical commentary in the background of the Christmas feast, but the glee on the faces of the snowball fighters was my favorite.
    Happy New Year to all!!

    Reply
  8. Glorious art…the use of light in the top/first Nativity is amazing. Was fascinated by the cynical commentary in the background of the Christmas feast, but the glee on the faces of the snowball fighters was my favorite.
    Happy New Year to all!!

    Reply
  9. Glorious art…the use of light in the top/first Nativity is amazing. Was fascinated by the cynical commentary in the background of the Christmas feast, but the glee on the faces of the snowball fighters was my favorite.
    Happy New Year to all!!

    Reply
  10. Glorious art…the use of light in the top/first Nativity is amazing. Was fascinated by the cynical commentary in the background of the Christmas feast, but the glee on the faces of the snowball fighters was my favorite.
    Happy New Year to all!!

    Reply
  11. I know it’s too late to comment, but wanted to say how much I wish I could see these images in real life. I know the photos don’t do them justice, as I’ve seen similar paintings in museums. I’ve never seen anything as fun as the snowball fight, though. In the first image, I love the Madonna’s face. Baby Jesus looks awfully cold though. I’m sure there were reasons to depict Him thus, however.
    Thank you for this post.

    Reply
  12. I know it’s too late to comment, but wanted to say how much I wish I could see these images in real life. I know the photos don’t do them justice, as I’ve seen similar paintings in museums. I’ve never seen anything as fun as the snowball fight, though. In the first image, I love the Madonna’s face. Baby Jesus looks awfully cold though. I’m sure there were reasons to depict Him thus, however.
    Thank you for this post.

    Reply
  13. I know it’s too late to comment, but wanted to say how much I wish I could see these images in real life. I know the photos don’t do them justice, as I’ve seen similar paintings in museums. I’ve never seen anything as fun as the snowball fight, though. In the first image, I love the Madonna’s face. Baby Jesus looks awfully cold though. I’m sure there were reasons to depict Him thus, however.
    Thank you for this post.

    Reply
  14. I know it’s too late to comment, but wanted to say how much I wish I could see these images in real life. I know the photos don’t do them justice, as I’ve seen similar paintings in museums. I’ve never seen anything as fun as the snowball fight, though. In the first image, I love the Madonna’s face. Baby Jesus looks awfully cold though. I’m sure there were reasons to depict Him thus, however.
    Thank you for this post.

    Reply
  15. I know it’s too late to comment, but wanted to say how much I wish I could see these images in real life. I know the photos don’t do them justice, as I’ve seen similar paintings in museums. I’ve never seen anything as fun as the snowball fight, though. In the first image, I love the Madonna’s face. Baby Jesus looks awfully cold though. I’m sure there were reasons to depict Him thus, however.
    Thank you for this post.

    Reply

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