Religious paintings were a favorite subject of the Old Masters (trained European painters who worked between the mid 1400’s to the early 1800’s). In paintings from this time period, Jesus was often depicted with a glowing light that would radiate out from him. This example of the Nativity (or birth) of Christ by Dutch artist Gerard Van Honthorst (1622) is a great example of this. The light that spreads from the infant Jesus, illumines the faces of those around him, symbolic of Jesus bringing light to the world.
May your New Year be full of light, peace, and hope. See you in 2014!