Merry Christmas

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In the painting “Mary displays the infant Christ, allowing the Shepherds to be the first to recognize the Son of God. They bring doves, the traditional offering for purification after birth, and a bound lamb. The latter symbolizes Christ’s later sacrifice, which the Child already contemplates in the heavenly vision of a Cross seen at the top of the painting. Realistic details, such as the still life of the cushion and straw hat and the dirty foot of the shepherd in the foreground, lend the picture a feeling of immediacy and intimacy that makes its message all the more convincing.” (From the Wallace Collection)

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