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Icon of the Nativity (1746) – CF761

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This is a very lively icon with expressive faces showing the Lord’s Nativity in the flesh.  The Star which is angelic light stands “over the place where the Young Child was” and He lays in swaddling bands, with the Holy Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph the Betrothed standing nearby.   The Three Wise Men who have journeyed so far bring their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, and one of them is censing the newborn Lord Whom they have come to worship.  Saint Michael, the great Archangel looks down from a cloud.  The expressions on all of the faces are quite peaceful, but the Virgin is seen joyous also, for the great love of her life Christ the Lord of Life, has come now in the flesh to become a man and her son.

In more ancient art, often the faces seem somewhat larger than the bodies shown, but this is usually done to show the greater importance and expressiveness of those depicted.  This icon is less stylized than certain other schools and made in a more ?primitive’ of folk style, but it has a wonderful peaceful and loving feeling to its artistry.  Here we see “God is with us”, the literal meaning of Emmanuel, manifest and relating to both the angels and the now New Testament Saints of this world.

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