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Original Medium: Acrylic on canvas
Dimensions: 24”x 20”
Year: 2010

This painting of the Nativity is based on a Byzantine from the 4th Century. It’s of a genre of Nativities that include Jesus and the animals, no others. In most cases a donkey and an ox are represented together looking upon the manger, as it is written in Habakkuk 3:2: “In the midst of two animals thou shalt be known.”

Other sources see the ox as the patience of Israel, while the donkey represents the gentile, whose work is in humble service to others.

In Ukrainian tradition, on Christmas Eve, children are sent out to await the star in the sky, signaling the beginning of the celebration of the Holy Supper, of 12 dishes, to represent the disciples. After the Holy Supper, they would then bring a dish of kutya (a kasha of wheatberries, poppyseed, and honey) out to the barn, for the animals. This evening it was believed that animals were given the gift of human speech, a grace offered by God in thanks for their willingness to be in service (sharing their stable, keeping watch) to the Christ-child.

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Original Medium: Acrylic on canvas
Dimensions: 24”x 20”
Year: 2010

This painting of the Nativity is based on a Byzantine from the 4th Century. It’s of a genre of Nativities that include Jesus and the animals, no others. In most cases a donkey and an ox are represented together looking upon the manger, as it is written in Habakkuk 3:2: “In the midst of two animals thou shalt be known.”

Other sources see the ox as the patience of Israel, while the donkey represents the gentile, whose work is in humble service to others.

In Ukrainian tradition, on Christmas Eve, children are sent out to await the star in the sky, signaling the beginning of the celebration of the Holy Supper, of 12 dishes, to represent the disciples. After the Holy Supper, they would then bring a dish of kutya (a kasha of wheatberries, poppyseed, and honey) out to the barn, for the animals. This evening it was believed that animals were given the gift of human speech, a grace offered by God in thanks for their willingness to be in service (sharing their stable, keeping watch) to the Christ-child.

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