The Nativity 1872

On Display Scottish National Gallery

  • Scottish Art
Scott has set the Nativity in a picturesque tumbledown barn near Penkill Castle. He recorded the variety of natural and man-made textures and materials as faithfully as possible, allowing the barn's perspective to draw attention to the Holy Family. Angels watch from the rafters, as shepherds arrive to pay their respects. The procession of the Magi approaches at the right. Scott had painted murals in Penkill Castle, the family home of his intimate friend, Alice Boyd, whom he had met in Newcastle. This painting was in her extensive private collection.

Glossary Open

Magi

In the New Testament, the wise men who travelled to Bethlehem to pay homage to the baby Jesus.

Mural

An artwork or design attached or applied directly to a wall.

Nativity

A representation of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Perspective

The principle of representing depth on a flat surface so that items further away from the eye appear smaller and parallel lines appear to converge.

Picturesque

A term applied to certain landscape images and garden or architectural designs. The idea became prominent in the 18th century to describe irregular or rough scenes that were deemed worthy to be painted. This includes subjects such as ruined castles or ramshackle cottages.

Magi, Mural, Nativity, Perspective, Picturesque

Details

  • Acc. No. NG 2396
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 74.00 x 114.00 cm (Framed: 100.40 x 139.20 x 8.50 cm)
  • Credit Purchased 1980