Of the 172 nativity scenes catalogued in the Bodleian’s online medieval image database, this one is my favorite:*
I like it because the artist is mindful that oxen and asses have to eat, even on days when the dear Savior is being born. And since the angel of the Lord there on the right is too busy playing mood music** and Mary has her hands full with baby Jesus, it falls to Joseph to see to the animals’ fodder. Good old reliable Joseph.
Merry Christmas, readers. I’ll be on hiatus until the New Year. Catch you after the holidays.
*It’s from MS Douce 185, which also contains the six lions I discussed a few weeks back.
**And is also apparently distracted by some marginalia in the upper margin that I helpfully cut in half when I cropped the image.
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