Visions of the Baby Jesus Light Up Centuries of Art

 

Madona and child painting. The Cologne cathedral. churches. mary. madonna. Housed in the Lady Chapel, this is the Dombild by Stefan Lochner, a local painter early 15th century. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Of all the paintings of Mary and the Baby Jesus I’ve spotted on recent travels, this is the most elegant. It’s the Dombild, on view in the Lady Chapel of the Cologne Cathedral, Germany. It was painted in the early 15th century by a local, Stefan Lochner. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

The Baby Jesus. Far away and long ago a baby was born, one who has inspired centuries of artists — and lights up the dark days of winter.

A stained glass window in the Cologne Cathedral depicts the Madonna and Child. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Some Madonnas are prettier than others . . .

A Madonna and Child in the Cologne Cathedral -- in stained glass. Photo by Barbara Newhall

. . . these two adorn the windows of the Cologne Cathedral. Photos by Barbara Newhall

Nativity scene in a San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, shop window with Baby Jesus, Mary and other figurines. Photo by Barbara Newhall

A Nativity scene with the Baby Jesus at its heart was on display in a San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, shop window. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Statue of Mary and Baby Jesus in the Regensburg cathedral, Germany. Photo by Barbara Newhall

In the Regensburg Cathedral, Germany, a beautiful setting and an insouciant  Baby Jesus. Photos by Barbara Newhall

Candles before the statue of Mary and Baby Jesus in the Regensburg cathedral, Germany. Photo by Barbara Newhall

A copy of Virgin and Child painting by Benozzo Gozzoli, 1420-1497, hangs in the Edsel Ford estate, Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Barbara Falconer Newhall

This copy of a painting by Benozzo Gozzoli, 1420-1497, hangs in the main room of the Edsel Ford estate in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Could the original possibly be more beautiful? Photo by Barbara Newhall

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