Advent Calendar 2015 · Art History

December 25th: Nativity by Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre

An Advent Calendar is technically supposed to end on December 24th, but I couldn't resist posting one final image. It is, of course, the Nativity. This is probably the easiest subject in the world to find paintings of, but I really struggled to find just the right one to feature here. It is by French… Continue reading December 25th: Nativity by Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre

Advent Calendar 2015 · American Art · Art History

December 24th: Christmas Eve by Edmund Restein

As soon as I saw this work, I knew I had to feature it today. It's not just the name that makes it appropriate. It so perfectly captures the spirit of Christmas Eve, at least as I've always experienced it - the early darkness, the inviting light from the church windows, and the well-dressed families… Continue reading December 24th: Christmas Eve by Edmund Restein

Advent Calendar 2015 · Art History · Places

December 23rd: Christkindlmarkt Am Hof by Carl Wenzel Zajicek

As I've told my readers before, I'm a little bit obsessed with Vienna and really hope to visit it one day. When I first started this blog, I researched and wrote an extensive article about Viennese balls. Another tradition I'm fascinated by is the Christkindlmarkt, or Christmas Market, which dates back to the Middle Ages. For… Continue reading December 23rd: Christkindlmarkt Am Hof by Carl Wenzel Zajicek

Advent Calendar 2015 · Art History

December 22nd: A Young Girl Dressed Up for Christmas by Kate Greenaway

Isn't this little girl so charming and sweet-looking in her fur-trimmed coat and big hat? She was drawn by British illustrator Kate Greenaway (1846-1901), who specialized in such images of well-dressed children. This one looks like she's trying to be all grown up, but she really reminds me of my American Girl doll. The long holly branch… Continue reading December 22nd: A Young Girl Dressed Up for Christmas by Kate Greenaway

Advent Calendar 2015 · Art History

December 21st: Merry Christmas by Viggo Johansen

In this painting by Danish artist Viggo Johansen (1851-1935), a family holds hands and dances merrily around the Christmas tree. Painted in 1891, this scene takes place several decades after the last Christmas genre painting I featured, and you can see how the Christmas tree is starting to look like it does today. What I love… Continue reading December 21st: Merry Christmas by Viggo Johansen

Advent Calendar 2015 · Art History

December 20th: Still Life with Christmas Pudding, Holly and Wine by Johanna Helena Looisen

Today's painting, Still Life with Christmas Pudding, Holly and Wine, is my first Advent Calendar work by a female artist. I wasn't specifically looking for a work by a female painter today, just as I wasn't intentionally avoiding female artists for the first nineteen days. I'm featuring the painting because I love it; it's compelling for… Continue reading December 20th: Still Life with Christmas Pudding, Holly and Wine by Johanna Helena Looisen

Advent Calendar 2015 · American Art · Art History

December 19th: Christmas-Time, the Blodgett Family by Eastman Johnson

  It's very difficult to find genre paintings (scenes of everyday life) with Christmas settings. I assume that's because the Christmas traditions we are familiar with today have only come into being relatively recently when compared with the entire the history of art. I had pretty much given up and stopped looking for such a painting by sometime… Continue reading December 19th: Christmas-Time, the Blodgett Family by Eastman Johnson

Advent Calendar 2015 · Art History

December 18th: Madonna d’Orleans by Raphael

Christmas draws near, yet I haven't featured a religious painting in at least a week. The Madonna and Child are, of course, at the very heart of Christmas, and no one painted them more beautifully that Italian Renaissance artist (1483-1520). There are so many Raphael Madonnas to choose from, but I thought this one was… Continue reading December 18th: Madonna d’Orleans by Raphael

Advent Calendar 2015 · Art History

December 17th: New Year’s Night by Julius Johann Ferdinand Kronberg

I found this painting on Pinterest, and I'm absolutely fascinated by it. The artist is Swedish painter Julius Johann Ferdinand Kronberg (1850-1921), but all I could find out about him was that he studied and taught at the Royal Swedish Academy, that he painted commissions for the Swedish monarchy, and that he was a Symbolist.… Continue reading December 17th: New Year’s Night by Julius Johann Ferdinand Kronberg

Advent Calendar 2015 · Art History

December 16th: Winter by Alfons Mucha

Czech-born artist and designer Alfons (Alphonse) Mucha (1860-1939) was one of the creators of the style we now call Art Nouveau. Even if the name doesn't sound familiar, you probably recognize his beautiful paintings and illustrations. They primarily feature elegant and ethereal-looking women, often with long hair, wearing flowing gowns, and surrounded by flowers and trees. His colorful,… Continue reading December 16th: Winter by Alfons Mucha