The famous canvas, based on a biblical story, was created by Peter Bruegel in 1566. The main theme of the plot reflects the life and life of the people in the social aspect.
All the artist’s work of this time period is characterized by the authenticity of what is happening, and the gospel plot disguises this action. After all, the evangelists are convinced that Bethlehem is the true place of the birth of Jesus. According to the Old Testament prophets, this city is the territory where the Messiah was born. However, according to Luke, Joseph and Mary lived in Nazareth. Luke refers to the census, which was carried out by decree of the emperor Augustus, from which it followed that Mary thus gave birth in Bethlehem.
In those days, rules were established that regulated the registration of Jews in Bethlehem. It followed that each person had to go to the city of his birth, where he was born. Joseph's birthplace was the city of David, where he went, despite the danger of this journey. But it was expensive every day, since Mary was soon to have a baby.
Through this picture, the artist conveyed the essence of the arbitrariness occurring in the Dutch villages due to the work of local authorities. Here he represents the life of the village, but only one detail characterizes this canvas related to the gospel story - this is a donkey that carries Mary, as well as an ox. After all, it is these animals that should be present in the Nativity of Christ.
If there weren’t these elements, a standard genre scene would be waiting for the viewer.
Unlike Mary, Joseph is a secondary figure and is depicted by the artist from the back, and because of the hat we can not see his face.
In general, Brueghel affirms the fact that Jesus is here and now, showing that he is among us and we do not see him while he is outside of us.
Malevich Kazimir Artworks