Friday, December 18, 2009

Seasonal Arty-Farty Friday

What shall I feature on the last Arty-Farty before Christmas? Nativity scenes by the Old Masters? No. I find them rather silly to be honest. Beautifully painted for sure, but Jesus was born in the Middle East, into relative poverty, and even if you're going to accept word for word, detail for detail, the traditional accounts of his nativity, those old paintings do not portray it honestly. They portray it as the artists thought their patrons and the people would understand it and wished to see it. I guess that's what art is all about though - portraying events and things in differing ways. Even so - no nativity scenes today! Instead a few versions of that other seasonal motif: Santa Claus aka Father Christmas.

First two are by Peggy Abrams. Astrologically we could say one is a Sagittarian Santa on his annual long journey, the second a Virgoan Santa, organising and planning.

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a look at Norman Rockwell's wonderful illustrations. Here his Santa is in Capricornian mode - busy in his workshop, and sorting out his order of business.

Two by Tom Browning, one shows Santa in cuddly Cancerian mode, in the other he's working a bit of bubbly Piscean magic.

I like this, by an unknown artist - Santa seeks information -he has to be showing his Aquarian side.

Another two by Tom Browning: one with Santa feeling summery for a change - has to be his Leo time-off, or during his spell in the southern hemisphere - mustn't forget our friends down under; it's titled "Merry Mariners" so there's a hint of Neptune too.....And next, a classic pose to cover all signs not yet mentioned.

A rather different, vintage, take on Santa Claus in his true persona St. Nicholas, giving presents to the children. (From the archives of LIFE magazine).

Finally - in lunar mode:


anthonynorth said...

Some great pics there. And I don't think it is just art that represents how we want to see things rather than how they are, or were. Historians do it all the time, too.

R J Adams said...

Dear old Santa. I wonder how different the world would be today if Christians had latched onto him as their God, rather than Jesus? Would they have called themselves 'Santians'?

Twilight said...

anthonynorth ~~ Oh yes, don't they just! Then a century or so later another band of historians come along and revise it all. ;-)

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~~~ LOL! Interesting thought! Santa asks us the question "have you been naughty or nice?" What we receive depends on our answer to that question, so there's quite a lot in common with what's put forward in the other option. ;-)