Shopping and Adoration

Let’s talk Christmas!! It’s happening, guys! Jesus was born and there’s no canceling something that happened thousands of years before stupid Covid. I want to share some beautiful Christmas-y art, but first I want to put a plug in for some art-related gifts.

1.      The Met Store. Or any museum store. Obviously, art museums are not having their best year, so this is a great way to support them! Most of them ship and have a wide range of fun artsy gifts and stocking stuffers for big and little budgets. Starry Night umbrella? Yup! Bajillion dollar piece of art? Yup! I found a darling fairy garden set for my niece over the summer at a museum shop. She’s going to love it!

2.      Etsy. I found so many awesome gifts on Etsy this year! A cute hand-stitched pillow for my mother-in-law, a sweet hockey decal for my daughter’s bedroom wall, a goat wallet for my other daughter, beautiful ornaments made from sea glass for each kid.

3.       Local artists. I contacted a local artist I am familiar with and asked about a project for my mom. She was happy to oblige. It’s my favorite thing I’ve ever purchased for my mom! Art galleries have great gifts by local artists. Also? Tap into your friends’ talents! I bought super cool greeting cards from one of my girlfriends and another is selling gorgeous wreaths. People love artsy gifts with a personal connection and it’s SO much better than a gift card!

4.       Indie book stores. Every one I go into has great, kitschy stuff! Local friends, Schuler’s has a section with Frida Kahlo air fresheners and erasers shaped like Van Gogh’s ear. What art lover wouldn’t want that?!

If you’re already done shopping or an artist can’t deliver before Christmas, don’t worry, you can buy stuff for friends and family year-round! These places are always happy to take your money! ?

Speaking of presents… how about those gifts the Magi brought baby Jesus? Here is how Sandro Boticelli imagined the scene:

If you really zoom in, Jesus’ halo is just barely visible and his fat little baby fingers are raised in blessing. Then I’m sure they went right back into his mouth afterward. The man (presumably) drying Jesus’ feet is Cosimo de’ Medici and not the only Medici in the painting. Piero, Giuliano, and Lorenzo are also featured, as is Botticelli himself. He’s the guy on the far right, scrutinizing viewers.

Another cool figure worth pointing out is the horse on the far left. Art scholars suspect that’s a callback to Leonardo da Vinci, who was an accomplished musician and supposedly made a lyre shaped like a horse’s head. (Side note: Leonardo’s Adoration of the Magi is in the Uffizi Gallery, along with Botticelli’s. Remind me to do a compare/contrast post someday on Botticelli and da Vinci.) If you zoom in, you can see the horse is about to bite the arm of the guy in red… who is Guiliano Medici’s assassin!

Silly me- I thought this was just a painting of the wise men coming to worship Jesus. Nothing is ever that simple, is it? But then, Jesus knew a thing or two about scandal and dirty politics, so maybe it is fitting after all.

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