Advent offering 24 December

For our final advent offering, I thought I’d follow on from yesterday’s blog, where we looked at nativity images from around the world, with another contextual nativity scene that is flavoured with the artist’s own cultural location. This one has a special place in my heart, as it is a nativity with a bit of a Scottish flavour. It’s by Scots artist William Bell Scott and, when I was home in Edinburgh recently, I was fortunate enough to see it ‘in the flesh’ in the National Gallery of Scotland. Scott locates the nativity scene, not in Bethlehem, but in Penkill, Ayrshire, where he was staying at the time of this composition. Some of the traditional nativity iconography is present – they byre, the animals, the holy family, and the angels (who are sitting rather nonchalantly with the birds in the rafters of the byre). A procession of shepherds make their way towards a rather nervous looking Mary (Joseph meanwhile appears rather disinterested in events, his nose stuck in a book). You’ll see they are followed up at the rear by a piper playing the bagpipes, another wee dash of Scottishness added by Bell to this traditional nativity scene. In the distance, the magi make their decorous way towards the byre,  It looks as though a a rather jolly celebration will soon be in full swing.

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William Bell Scott, The Nativity (1872)

And so we reach the end of our advent calendar for 2014. I do hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we’ve enjoy doing it. From all of us in Theology at Auckland, we wish you and yours a happy festive time and hope to see you for more bloggings in 2015.

Caroline x

2 thoughts on “Advent offering 24 December

  1. cedar51 December 24, 2014 / 10:02 am

    Thanks Caroline, Robert and Nick (was there anyone else) for this string of artistic events…it has been an enjoyable interlude for me. I am taking a different stance for Christmas Day this year, in that I will be waking up in a Devonport house of mainly females aged between 13 – 88 with one solitary boy of 12; partaking in whatever the plan is…my usual Christmas Days are not at all like this but chose to this year to go along on the family route. Take care all, have a safe journey if you are travelling and enjoy your own chosen way of celebrating this festive period. Cathy…


  2. Caroline Blyth December 24, 2014 / 1:10 pm

    Thanks Cathy, glad you enjoyed the advent calendar and I hope you have a fabulously enjoyable Christmas day.


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