Birth of Christ - Juan Pantocha de la Cruz. 260 x 172 cm.
This picture was created according to one of the most popular biblical stories - the birth of Jesus Christ. The lower part, on which the main characters of the event are captured, personifies the earth; the middle dark strip separates the sky from earthly life; the uppermost part depicts the kingdom of heaven with angels prayerfully kneeling.
The dark background underlines the reference to the Bible, according to which the Virgin Mary gave birth to Christ in a cave, which served as a stable for livestock. This is also reminded of by a white lamb peacefully sleeping at her feet. This is a peculiar play of symbols - the lamb not only emphasizes the birthplace of Jesus, but also personifies him - the “lamb of God”.
In the center of the lower part of the composition, the Virgin Mary is depicted, with her hands folded on her chest and looking with love at the baby lying on her lap. She is wearing a red dress and a dark board draped over her hair.
This lyrical and tender scene of motherly love is surrounded by numerous characters with musical instruments in their hands. They are dressed in a fashion similar to a contemporary artist. Careful detail and a magnificent image of the smallest elements give out the characteristic handwriting of the artist. These people stand in a semicircle, forming a kind of honor guard near the baby Jesus and his mother.
The darkness of the arch of the cave gradually turns into a layer of clouds above it. On their knees are five angels with large wings in long, loose robes of different colors. They are also located in a semicircle, being a kind of reflection of what is happening under them, on the ground.
The canvas is distinguished by harmoniously selected bright, but not flashy, slightly muffled colors and a rich color scheme.