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Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem, from a Mir’at al-quds of Father Jerome Xavier (Spanish, 1549–1617)

Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem, from a Mir’at al-quds of Father Jerome Xavier (Spanish, 1549–1617)

1602-1604

Part of a set. See all set records

Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper

Page: 26.3 x 15.6 cm (10 3/8 x 6 1/8 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 2005.145.3

Description

Since the author of this book on the life of Christ did not specify the kind of animal that carried the heavily pregnant Mary to Bethlehem, the artist depicted her on a camel, strung with bells. He effectively conveys the harshness and discomfort of the journey by painting trees bending to wind, setting the travelers among rocky outcroppings, and surrounding her with strange men. Wearing a green coat, her husband Joseph carries a sword over his shoulder, suggesting that he is ready to face any potential trouble.

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