Andrei Rublev's The Nativity
by Mary Elizabeth Podles
The full title of Andrei Rublev's icon is The Nativity in the Flesh of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; for all that, the poor infant Savior is given rather short shrift. He is placed at the center of the image, within a womb-like grotto like the one in Bethlehem traditionally associated with his birth. Sharp, angular rocks rise above it to symbolize the harshness of the world into which he is born. He is wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a tomblike manger as if to foreshadow his grave clothes and his future tomb. His very littleness seems to speak of the human frailty he was born to embrace. The lowly workaday . . .
THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:
Mary Elizabeth Podles is the retired curator of Renaissance and Baroque art at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. She and her husband Leon, a Touchstone senior editor, have six children and live in Baltimore, Maryland.
more on art from the online archives
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor
• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)
Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.
more from the online archives