Born Again : The Secret of The Almond Tree
Supporting Medium : Stretched canvas
Actual Size : 50 x 61 cm
Ref. number : B-54
Copyright : EB-00046741
Status : Private Collection
The story behind
In the Jewish tradition, the almond tree, being the first to blossom in the spring, is a symbol of new life. In medieval esotericism, an almond-shaped halo can be found adorning the Virgin Mary's head in most paintings of that time, and is a symbolic representation of her virginity. More generally, the almond is frequently used symbolically to represent the hidden origin of things…
With this painting, I wanted to depict my conception of the Nativity, and what I see as its mysterious, sacred but also inspiring character. Thus I painted my celestial Virgin naked, embracing Light under the watchful gaze of an ox and a donkey, and preparing to give birth to the great Spirit of the world…
While they do echo traditional representations of the Nativity - i.e baby Jesus lying in a manger - the presence of the ox and the donkey is also symbolic : the ox represents detachment, gentleness and contemplation while the donkey, shown here in the forefront and in white, represents knowledge.
Now over to you, good luck in finding the clue to the « secret of the Almond Tree »...
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