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Christmas Fine Art

Updated on October 13, 2014

Nativity Art of the Renaissance

So many amazing pieces of art work have been created over the centuries about the birth of Jesus Christ! Divine inspiration was given to numerous talented artists for these beautiful masterpieces! Come take a look at the art, artists, styles, and elements of art during the Renaissance art style period which depict this sacred story from the Bible.

Art Education

The Nativity in Renaissance Art ~ Artcyclopedia's Advent Calendar was my entire inspiration for this page! It contains 25 pieces of fine art. When you click on the number of the day, it takes you to a brief explanation of the artwork and artist. What a great way to present the art masters along with Bible lessons! It contains a photo of the artwork and a brief description of the piece, artist, and connections to the Biblical story. You may click on the artist's name for links. If you would like more information on the artists and their pieces, you may want to search the following.

Parents & Teachers ~ Overall, the paintings and pages are excellent! Please view each painting and info before sharing with children for appropriateness. A few of the paintings contain items which you may prefer your students not to view (i.e. Creation of Adam in his ... uhmm ... birthday suit). Also, some of the Biblical interpretations are different than how I personally feel about them, so, you may want to read them ahead of time to determine how you feel about it for yourself.

The Christmas Story
The Christmas Story

"The timeless story of Christmas is beautifully retold through paintings by some of the world’s greatest artists. Borrowing from The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s extensive and rich collection, The Christmas Story depicts the Nativity through visual narration with the aid of paintings by, among others, Petrus Christus, Gerard David, and Hans Memling. Gold accents on the book jacket and interior pages make for a glorious and lush book.

The artworks, sensitively coupled with excerpts from the King James Version of the Bible, create a book that will be treasured by the entire family for years to come."


Titian / Tiziano Vecellio

Day 1 ~ The Presentation of the Virgin

When: c. 1485-1576

Where: Venice, Italy

Style Period: High Renaissance

Style: versatile, changing during lifetime, specialized in color usage

Types of paintings: portraits, mythological themes, religious subjects

Influence: Italian Renaissance and developing western art

Best Known Pieces:

Rogier van der Weyden

Day 2 ~ St. Luke Painting the Virgin and Child

When: ca.1400-1464

Where: Netherlands

Style Period: Northern Renaissance

Art Medium: paintings ~ religious and secular portraits

Best Known Works: St. Luke Drawing a Portrait of the Virgin

Rogier van der Weyden Biography

Rogier van der Weyden - The Annunciation Print

Visitation of Mary - Rogier Van Der Weyden

Rogier van der Weyden - Birth of Christ

Rogier van der Weyden - The Nativity

Georges de la Tour

Day 3 ~ The Education of the Virgin

Day 7 ~ The Dream of Joseph

When: 1593 - 1652

Where: France

Style Period: Baroque

Art Medium: Paintings

Best Known Art: The Education of the Virgin, The Dream of St. Joseph, Hurdy Gurdy

Georges de La Tour Biography

St. Joseph As A Carpenter By Georges De La Tour


Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

Day 9 ~ The Immaculate Conception

When: 1617 - 1682

Where: Seville, Spain

Style Period: Baroque

Art Medium: painting

Best known works: Immaculate Conception, Moses Striking the Rock, St. Elizabeth of Hungary Tending the Sick, and St. Peter Released from Prison.

Michelangelo Buonarroti

Day 12 ~ The Creation of Adam

When: 1475 - 1564

Where: Florence, Italy

Style Period: Renaissance

Art Medium: paintings, architecture, sculpting

Best Known Pieces: Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, David (statue)

Giovanni di Paolo

Day 13 ~ The Creation and the Expulsion from Paradise

When: 1399 - 1482

Where: Italy

Style Period: Gothic

Art Medium: paintings, illuminations

Best Known Pieces: St. Ansanus Baptizing, Madonna & Child with Angels

Giovanni di Paolo Biography


Day 15 ~ The Feast of Herod

When: 1383 - 1466

Where: Florence, Italy

Style Period: Renaissance

Art Medium: statues, paintings

Best Known Pieces: David, Madonna & Child within an Arch

The Feast of Herod Canvas


Antoine Caron

Day 16 ~ Augustus and the Tiburtine Sybil

When: 1521 - 1599

Where: France

Style Period: Renaissance

Art Medium: painting, glassmaking, illustrations

Best Known Pieces: Augustus and the Sibyl of the Tiber, Portrait of a Lady

Antoine Caron Biography

The Birth of Jesus

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. ~ Luke 2


Pieter Bruegel

Day 17 ~ The Census in Bethlehem

When: 1525 - 1569

Where: Breda, Netherlands (debated)

Style Period: Renaissance

Art Medium: painting

Best Known Pieces: The Tower of Babel


And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." ~ So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. ~ Luke 2:8-12, 16-20

Jacopo Bassano

Day 19 ~ The Annunciation to the Shepherds

When: 1510 - 1592

Where: Venice, Italy

Style Period: Renaissance

Art Medium: painting

Best Known Pieces: Jacob's Return to Canaan, The Last Supper, Annunciation to the Shepherds

Hugo van der Goes

Day 20 ~ The Adoration of the Shepherds

When: 1440 - 1483

Where: Brussels

Style Period: Early Netherlandish

Art Medium: paintings

Best Known Pieces: Fall of Man, Adoration of the Shepherds


Gentile da Fabriano

Day 21 ~ Journey & Adoration of the Magi

When: 1370 - 1427

Where: Fabriano, Italy

Style Period: Gothic

Art Medium: painting, frescos

Best Known Works: Adoration of the Magi, Flight into Egypt.

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. ~ Luke 2:6-7

Piero della Francesca

Day 23 ~ The Nativity

When: 1415 - 1492

Where: Italy

Style Period: Early Renaissance

Art Medium: paintings, frescos

Best Known Pieces: The Resurrection, King of Solomon & Queen of Sheba

Piero della Francesca - Birth of Christ Print

Luca Cambiaso

Day 25 ~ Virgin & Child

When: 1527 - 1585

Where: Genoa, Italy

Style Period: Late Renaissance

Art Medium: paintings

Best Known Pieces: Adoration of the Shepherds, Madonna of the Candle

Luca Cambiaso Paintings

What is your favorite painting? Who is your favorite artist?


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    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @ohcaroline: Beautiful piece of art!

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 5 years ago

      My favorite is from Fra Angelico and the birth of Christ.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @blessedmomto7: Studying art of the period adds so much to learning! I have much research to do and add to the page as we are studying it, too.

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 5 years ago

      I found this lens via pinterest. We are currently studying the Renaissance in history, so I finally found one of yours at the perfect time!

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 7 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @encouragingwords: Thank you! :-D

    • encouragingwords profile image

      encouragingwords 7 years ago

      Beautiful and inspirational lens. Lensrolled on Quotes and Sentiments for Christmas Cards.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 8 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @Sylvestermouse: Wow ~ it would be so exciting to see the Sistine Chapel! I would probably just stand there in awe without saying a word!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 8 years ago from United States

      My favorite is probably "The Creation of Adam" I have been awed by copies of that picture all of my life and I finally visited the Sistine Chapel a couple of years ago. Because of the familiarity, I felt like I was home.

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 8 years ago

      Wonderful lens! Blessed by an angel!

    • rubyandmahoney profile image

      rubyandmahoney 8 years ago

      Of your selection here, my favorite painting is The Annunciation by Fra Angelo..the architectural rendering is magnificent. My favorite Renaissance artist though, is probably Botticelli. This is a great selection of images.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 8 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Oh, wow, I don't know if I can choose a favorite. I guess it's a toss-up between the Georges de la Tour piece and the "Census in Bethlehem." They're all quite different and exquisite. I saw many paintings like these when I visited the Leuvre museum. Just amazing.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 8 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      I like Leonardo's Head of an Angel which is a part of a pencil drawing he did. this is an amazing lens! 5 ***** and blessed.