2012: Advent Art History: Naked Baby Jesus Advent Calendar – December 21

by on December 21, 2012

The Virgin of the Rose Garden

Stephan Lochner

c.1448

51 x 40cm

This is a very courtly image, where the Virgin and Child are surrounded by musicians, in a reflection of the kind of entertainment available to contemporary royal women.

Another courtly touch is her brooch. Although too small to see in this reproduction (damn flicker for not letting me upload the really big image), it decpicts a popular courtly theme of the Lady and the Unicorn. There’s a sculpted golden Lady in the middle, with the unicorn’s head on her lap. In this context, the reference is to Mary’s virginity and purity. This one can be enlarged, but the detail still isn’t greatly clear.

God the Father and the Holy Spirit appear as a dove appear at the top of the Cloth of Honour/drapes that angels are pulling back to reveal the scene. Mary is crowned Queen of Heaven, and surrounded by flowers that indicate her virtues.

One of the things I love about this painting is how youthful all of the faces are. The angels look like children (although nothing like Renaissance cherubs) and even God the Father looks like a child with a beard.

Leave a Reply