OK – One more post to get the Christmas art binge out of my system – then I’ll get back to wherever else my mood takes me.
Everybody has heard of Rembrandt, but how many of you have heard of Henry Ossawa Tanner? No? He’s not a “Dutch Master,” or a “Renaissance Dude.” He is actually an American artist, born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1859. He was also the very first internationally-acclaimed African-American artist. His mom was a Civil War era slave and escaped to the North through the Underground Railroad, and his dad was a minister and political activist.
When he was a young man, we attended an art academy in Philadelphia, and was the only black student enrolled. He battled racism, travelled the world, and painted – spending most of his adult years in Paris. That’s enough bio for my purposes.
A few years ago, I happened upon one of his paintings tucked away in a museum stairwell, and was awestruck. Since then I have become a huge fan. Some of you might be familiar with his work, but I’ll bet a lot of you have never heard of him before.
And so, I introduce you to a selection of his paintings that deal with the birth and early life of the Savior. Oh, and Merry Christmas to my friend Velva.
First, “The Annunciation.” Gabriel’s visit to the Virgin Mary.
Next, “La Sainte-Marie.” (Saint Mary.)
Another simply titled, “Mary.” (Notice how his wildly his style varies.)
“Angels Appearing to the Shepherds.”
The next few represent events after the Savior’s birth:
“The Three Wise Men.”
“Flight Into Egypt.”
This next one is another “Flight Into Egypt.” THIS ONE IS MY FAVORITE. I love this painting – it is the first one of Tanner’s that I mentioned earlier. I have a print of it that I hang on the wall at Christmastime, even though it isn’t literally a Christmas event.
I included a link so you can look at a super-sized version, if you want. Here.
A painting that many of you will adore: “Christ and His Mother Studying the Scriptures.” Have you seen anything like this?
And finally, “The Good Shepherd.”