Advent Reflections: art meditation

In December I’m posting several Advent Reflections: some quotes, some images, some meditations. It’s not a series so feel free to dip in and out as and when you have a moment or are looking for new inspiration!

Today I’m posting an art meditation. Choose one of the images below to engage with. Enjoy the picture for a few minutes just as it is. Then, if you want to go deeper, notice what parts of the picture particularly catch your eye. Is there anything in the picture that surprises you? Are there people in the picture? Who are they? What are they experiencing? How do they feel?

Annunciation, Vasily Surikov, 1914

Annunciation, Vasily Surikov, 1914

The arrival at Bethlehem: Luc-Olivier Merson

The arrival at Bethlehem: Luc-Olivier Merson


The Nativity, Arthur Hughes

The Nativity, Arthur Hughes

I’d love if you would take a moment to share in the comments which picture you chose and how it spoke to you this Advent.

About expectantlylistening

Writing about my contemplative journey to come closer to Jesus. I hope to inspire and equip others on their journey.
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5 Responses to Advent Reflections: art meditation

  1. i have focused on the nativity by Arthur Hughes. It is a very intimate scene, Mary in one respect is on her own (Joseph is nowhere in sight) and yet she isn’t. She is surrounded, crowded out even, by angels. Her youthfulness is evident which I like. I like that about the top picture also. She is concentrating on wrapping the baby in swaddling clothes, very carefully, apparently oblivious to the presence of the angels, although they are helping her; one is holding up the child; the other is holding high the lantern. the swaddling clothes look very white and clean; the baby’s halo gleams and I like the way a lock of Mary’s hair falls in front of the halo.She is close to the baby Jesus. Perhaps his sacredness is rubbing off on her. There is a peaceful intimacy and warmth in the picture. The angel’s faces are lifted up to heaven, the ones close by Mary and her baby. They are not intruding. There is a sense of awe and worship to God in Heaven also. God on high and God in the child are included. Yes, it is a lovely warm vibrant picture. Thanks

    • Thank you Julia, I enjoyed reading your comment, you’ve written beautifully about this picture noticing so much. I really appreciate these insights, you’ve made the picture fresh for me again, thank you. Have a wonderful Christmas!

      • Thank you. I enjoyed reflecting on it. And I found that that the picture popped into my mind this morning in Church when we had a reading and hymn about Mary. Have a peace filled Christmas.

  2. betsydecruz says:

    Wow, those are beautiful. I especially love arrival at Bethlehem. Merry Christmas to you!

    • Hi Betsy, it’s a lovely picture isn’t it, it really conveys Mary’s tiredness and desperation for a place to rest. I love the colours too and whole style of this painting. I’ve really enjoyed finding all the Advent images. Have a wonderful Christmas!

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