The Nativity By Gari Melchers

Julius Garibaldi Melchers was an American artist. He was one of the leading American proponents of naturalism. He won a 1932 Gold medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

There is a painting by Gari Melchers entitled The Nativity. Joseph is seated leaning forward. His large carpenter hands are folded together. His elbows are resting on his thighs. He looks down with tired eyes at the baby in front of him. Now, finally, all things are still.

Every depiction I’ve ever seen about the nativity shows Mary and Joseph kneeling over the manger worshiping the Baby Jesus. Anyone who has given birth knows how absolutely exhausted Mary would have been, and how terrified Joseph would feel. Doesn’t this depiction of Mary and Joseph right after she gives birth look more accurate? Mary looks totally spent and Joseph looks absolutely stunned and terrified…..

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