The Nativity at London's National Gallery with Hattie Bennett
Join an art historian to explore the theme of the Nativity at London's National Gallery. We will look at wonderful examples from the Italian and Northern Renaissance, the Italian and French Baroque, and the Dutch Golden Age, as we decipher just how this is represented in one of London’s finest galleries.
The Nativity, Mary, Joseph, and the baby is an enduring and beautiful scene in art. Located in a stable, cave, or crumbling classical building the story is retold with familiar characters such as the shepherds, the magi, or the two midwives. From simple depictions to enormous baroque confections the nativity reflects the context of the time and place in which it was created.
The collection of the National Gallery, London, holds a diverse collection of images of the Nativity.
We will look at masterpieces from Italy by Botticelli, Piero della Francesca, and Titian, from Flanders by Jan Gossaert and Pieter Bruegel, and from France by Poussin. Less well-known masters will also be examined such as Geertgen tot Sint Jans who illuminates his nativity with sacred light and the Le Nain Brothers whose closely observed naturalism brings realism to a familiar scene. The context of time and place will be considered in each discussion with considerations of patronage, technique, and provenance.
Led by an expert on Art History, Hattie Bennett, this interactive seminar will discuss the various ways of portraying the nativity. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the development of the story of the Nativity retold in Art.
Hattie has a degree in History of Art and an MA in Historic Interiors, she has a life-long passion and fascination in Fine and Decorative Arts, particularly works produced in Europe from the 16th to 18th century. After working for the Royal Collection in the Print Room at Windsor Castle, she was a curator for a private collector of 17th and 18th century prints and drawings. Hattie has worked for London's foremost framer of important old master paintings during which time she sharpened her appreciation and understanding of the decorative arts and the changing tastes of collecting. Recently she has been dealing in prints and works of art as well as taking groups of all ages to museums and galleries.