Artist who inspired Prince George’s Christmas painting praises his ‘eye for colour’

The artist believed to have inspired Prince George’s Christmas portrait praised the young royal’s ‘talent’ and ‘eye for colour’.

Hannah Dale – of Wrendale Designs – said the nine-year-old royal’s festive work, which depicted a red-breasted reindeer on its body and antlers, was ‘lovely’ and showed an impressive command of watercolour.

“I think having a love of animals and love of nature is obviously something that may have caught his attention,” she told HELLO! Magazine. “It inspires me a lot.”

Hannah, from Lincolnshire, explained that it was ‘a lovely surprise’ to see the post display on her social media feed, which she admitted was immediately influenced by one of her Christmas card designs.

The artist believed to have inspired Prince George’s Christmas portrait (pictured) praised the young royal’s ‘talent’ and ‘eye for colour’

The artist was pleased to see a young talent being encouraged to pursue art, insisting it was a ‘fantastic’ ability to enter.

She also expressed her assurance that the Prince and Princess of Wales – who shared their son’s painting on their Instagram account – are proud of their child’s work.

Prince William and Kate Middleton, both 40, wished their followers a Merry Christmas when they posted the photo last weekend.

Hannah explained that it was 'a lovely surprise' to see the post display on her social media feed, which she admitted was influenced by one of her Christmas card designs (pictured)

Hannah explained that it was ‘a lovely surprise’ to see the post display on her social media feed, which she admitted was influenced by one of her Christmas card designs (pictured)

The artist (pictured) was pleased to see young talent being encouraged to pursue art, insisting it was a 'fantastic' ability to get into

The artist (pictured) was pleased to see young talent being encouraged to pursue art, insisting it was a ‘fantastic’ ability to get into

Royal fans were quick to praise the nine-year-old’s artistic flair, suggesting he gets his skills from his mother, who is a keen photographer.

One person said: “A budding little artist. Merry Christmas everyone!’

Another said: ‘So much talent for a little guy! Longing for his mummy.’

During the festive season, the young royal siblings appeared on screen with their parents at their mother’s annual choir service and stole the show.

Together at Christmas, which features the Christmas carol concert organized by the Princess of Wales on Thursday 15 December, took place in Westminster Abbey.

Together at Christmas, featuring the Carol Concert organized by the Princess of Wales on Thursday 15 December, took place in Westminster Abbey

Together at Christmas, featuring the Carol Concert organized by the Princess of Wales on Thursday 15 December, took place in Westminster Abbey

Prince George and Princess Charlotte were in the front row of the crowds, along with their parents and the King and Queen Consort.

During the service, which included readings from Kristin Scott-Thomas and Prince William and performances by Craig David, Alfie Boe and Mel C, the young prince and princess stole the show.

Viewers praised well-behaved Charlotte, who looked excited as Hugh Bonneville read an extract from Paddington Bear.

The seven-year-old stole viewers’ hearts with her ‘priceless’ reaction when her face lit up during the tribute to the late Queen, her great-grandmother.

George and his younger sister Princess Charlotte, seven, wowed viewers across the country as his mother's carol concert was broadcast on ITV1

George and his younger sister Princess Charlotte, seven, wowed viewers across the country as his mother’s carol concert was broadcast on ITV1

Speaking at the start of the show, Kate said: ‘This Christmas will be our first without her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth.

“Her Majesty held Christmas close to her heart as a time that brought us together.”

Later in the program, Kate describes a sweet connection between the late Queen and her young children.

Sharing a family photo of Queen as a child putting on a Christmas production, the princess said: ‘It really resonated with me, and to see Her Majesty here doing the production on Christmas Day during the Second World War, which I thought was very special.

‘I remember doing this kind of thing as a little girl too… when I saw this picture it was amazing because I saw my kids doing this kind of thing, putting on little shows for us . That’s when they ask me to join, so we dance like around the table!’


An artist in the making! Prince and Princess of Wales’ Christmas message features 9-year-old Prince George’s festive painting of a reindeer

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‘I expected an LP, but it was a watercolour map of Melbourne’ – the Christmas present I’ll never forget | Painting

Eeven though I was excited about them at the time, I can’t remember most of my Christmas presents. I either lost them, ate them or grew out of them. But I will never forget the painting my late grandmother gave me when I was 10.

I was disappointed with the gift at the time. I was young and expected the giant rectangle to be an LP or some video games, but when I tore off the wrapping paper, I found a watercolor map of Melbourne, Australia, where I was born.

Grandma was artistic. Even bedtime was an adventure in her creative mind. She would tell me and my brother stories about four friendly dinosaurs, Hat, Skat, Minto and Bongo, who would visit us from our backyard through a secret tunnel. She wove these yarns until our eyelids grew heavy, then she took our heads, lifted them up and pounded our pillows, creating a “magic hole” where worries and other night terrors could not reach us, then laid our heads down to rest.

She was from Liverpool, and when she wasn’t creating dinosaur fantasies, she told us stories about the blitz and the terrifying nights she spent in an Anderson shelter while the Luftwaffe’s doodlebugs painted the sky above the Albert Docks crimson has. I’m biased, but my grandmother was a brilliant woman. She bowled reverse swing for Lancashire Women’s Cricket Club, and one of her performances even made it into the Liverpool Echo. She won a scholarship to the University of Liverpool and later became a teacher, an amazing achievement for a working-class woman in the 1950s.

Even though she was a scouser from a council estate, you couldn’t tell if you’d met her unless you crossed her – which, as a certified little fool, I often did. Then it was when Ricky Tomlinson commandeered her vocal chords. “Well, you little coward!” she screamed as I did something unspeakably naughty like get into the trunk of her car while she was driving, making her think I was missing until I burst out of the trunk when she opened it to go shopping pick up

She taught geography and art, which may explain why she painted maps later in life. She would sketch maps of the US and Europe to scale in painstaking detail and then color them with watercolors. They were so impressive that her family and friends would “commission” her to paint maps of their favorite places. By the time she got to me, I think she was tired of devoting so much time to these projects, so I only received a map of Melbourne rather than an expansive map of Australia.

I was hoping to dig up the painting to show it here. It must have been lost during one of the dozens of house moves I’ve made over the years. My grandmother’s painting is no longer with me – but just like her, I will never forget it.

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Are you bored yet? Five art shows to be dazzled by over the Christmas season | Art

Midwinter is one of the best times to see good, rewarding art. Here are five shows worth getting off the couch and putting on your woollies.

Lucian Freud

Lucian Freud… The refugees. Photo: Lucien Freud/The Lucian Freud Archive. All rights reserved 2022 / Bridgeman Images

The meaty truth of the great Berlin-born British painter gets a big, sprawling stage in this centenary show. Few modern artists have so easily held their own alongside the old masters in the National Gallery. Freud belongs here. His early works with their hallucinatory precision emulate the objectivity of an earlier German portraitist in England, Hans Holbein, but his later, looser style was forged by looking long and hard at another Renaissance painter, Titian. His portraits are unsentimental, yet compassionate, carnal and yet all about the mystery of consciousness.

National Gallery until 22 January


All ages can enjoy this deep dive into the mysteries of ancient Egypt. This North African civilization’s gods and myths confused later generations before the imagery of the Pharaohs was deciphered in the early 19th century. The Rosetta Stone, discovered during the wars between England and revolutionary France, played a crucial role in this quest as it has the same text in three languages ​​and alphabets. This magical key to hieroglyphs is of course a star exhibit here along with papyri like the Book of the Dead, which could eventually be deciphered once the code was broken. An exhibition that beautifully captures the thrill of discovering lost worlds.

British Museum until 19 February

Pieter Brueghel the Younger

What could be more perfect in winter than the art of the Brueghel family? Snow is one of their favorite subjects. Warmly dressed peasants dance and celebrate whatever the season is in paintings by Pieter the Younger, who imitated the rollicking poly-rustic exuberance of his (admittedly much more brilliant) father, in scenes full of heartwarming humor. Most seasonal of all is Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s print The Fat Kitchen – all too true to that Christmas gluttony.

Barber Institute, Birmingham until 22 January

Sophie von Hellerman and Anne Ryan

This free display on the Turner’s tall window wall overlooking the sea is well worth catching. Anne Ryan’s carved figures dance and teem with chaotic energy. But it’s Munich-born, Margate-based painter Von Hellerman who really holds the space and seascape with her large, free-flowing fantasies, painted on location, full of color and light to bring the dark days to life.

Turner Contemporary, Margate until 16 April

JMW Turner with Lamin Fofana

JMW Turner … Seascape with buoy c 1840.
JMW Turner … Seascape with buoy c 1840. Photo: Tate undefined

It is impossible to imagine any darker or stranger midwinter than the ice worlds painted by Turner in his great imaginary scenes of Arctic whaling. His paintings of whalers trapped in the ice but still obsessed with catching whales are white, blue and ivory wonders of frozen seas, glowing fog and hysterical stranded crews. This exhibition sets some of Turner’s most eerie sea paintings against sound works by Fofana that remind you of the slave ships that sailed from Liverpool. All this makes for an atmospheric and unforgettable visit to the Albert Dock, with its dark basin of deep historic water.

Tate Liverpool to 4 June

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Patriotic Christmas painting of George Washington was actually German

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When the painting “Washington Crossing the Delaware” was first unveiled to the public in the early 1850s, it was a huge hit. It toured major cities and drew crowds and gold medals. A poet wrote an ode to it. The artist quickly painted a second version, to be shipped and exhibited abroad.

It is not difficult to see why art historian Barbara Groseclose calls it “the emblem of patriotism for Americans”. The enormous canvas depicts perhaps the most decisive moment in the War of Independence, Gen. George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River on Christmas Eve in 1776. After months of embarrassing failures, Washington ordered thousands of troops to cross the icy waters under cover of darkness. . The next morning, in Trenton, NJ, their surprise attack provided a much-needed morale boost.

In the painting, Washington stands proudly in a boat, seemingly certain of America’s destiny.

But here’s the thing: That multi-city tour the painting went on? It was in Germany – Berlin, Düsseldorf and Cologne, to be exact. The artist? a german And the ode to it? Auf Deutsch.

That second version sent abroad? It was sent to the United States.

Why Christmas was the best time of year to escape slavery

In fact, when Emanuel Leutze began his masterpiece, his intention was not to inflame the patriotic passions of Americans, but to inspire his fellow Germans to be as patriotic as he knew Americans to be.

In 1848 a wave of rebellion spread across Europe. It started small with a revolution in Sicily and then grew. In Denmark, protesters demanded a formal constitution. French citizens forced the creation of the Second French Republic. In London, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published “The Communist Manifesto”.

At the time, the German Confederation included dozens of independent states, dominated by two monarchs jostling for control. During the revolutions of 1848, demonstrations of peasants, students and intellectuals arose throughout these states, demanding democratic reforms and promoting pan-Germanism.

It was in this cauldron that Leutze decided to paint Washington. Although German by birth, he spent his formative years in Philadelphia before returning to Düsseldorf for art school. Leutze saw firsthand the power of seemingly disparate groups coming together in the cause of freedom, and he hoped his painting would inspire his countrymen to act like, well, countrymen.

Unfortunately for Leutze, the revolution dissolved faster than he could paint. An attempt at a national assembly, called the Frankfurt Parliament, collapsed under the weight of his intellectualism, and many “Forty-Eighters”, as they became known, were forced to emigrate.

After his German tour, the first version of “Washington Crossing the Delaware” ended up in the Bremen Art Museum. In a strange twist of fate, it was destroyed by Allied bombing during World War II.

The Christmas Truce Miracle: Soldiers put down their guns to sing carols and drink wine

In 1859 Leutze migrated back to the United States, where the response to his Washington painting was great. A magazine review called it “unparalleled the best painting ever executed of an American subject … full of earnestness without exaggeration.” A newspaper said it was “the largest, most majestic and most effective painting ever exhibited in America”.

Mark Twain, ever the satirist, took a different view, calling it a “work of art which Washington would have hesitated to cross, had he known the advantage to be derived from it.”

Tens of thousands of people lined up to see it at exhibitions in New York and Washington. According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the painting now resides, within a year almost every home had a print, engraving or sewing version on the mantle.

Leutze divided his time between New York and Washington, where Congress commissioned him to paint another American classic, the massive “Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way,” which still hangs in the Capitol.

Unfortunately for him, national division followed him to his new home; the American Civil War broke out in 1861 just as he was completing his latest patriotic work.

A version of this story was originally published on December 25, 2017.

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How to lay a Christmas table: Interior designers share ‘key’ to ‘perfect’ tablescape

Christmas tables are often decorated with candles, festive plants, twinkle lights, colorful tablecloths and matching cutlery. A beautiful and inspiring Christmas table can set the scene for the perfect festive day and can even be used later to celebrate New Year’s Eve. A Christmas centerpiece can make the festive season special and memorable with crackers, place settings and even tablecloths adding a personal touch to the festivities.

For those keen to do something special to celebrate the big day, Vicki Foster, Interior Stylist at SCS has partnered with table creation specialist Lucy Whiddett, of @the.table.stylist, to share a definitive guide on using interior design to create an unforgettable experience for guests.

Set a theme

Lucy suggested “choosing a theme and color” for the event that takes into account your personality and style, the season and the event itself.

Lucy said: “I often build a theme around a specific item such as a nutcracker and choose three colors that fall into your chosen palette: primary, secondary and accent.

A Nutcracker table top will have red as primary, pink as secondary and gold as an accent.

READ MORE: Harry and Meghan’s £11 million home in Santa Barbara even has thrones

Starting with the tablecloth as a base, choose a primary color or a neutral tone.

A table runner is a great option for those who like to expose the wood colors of their tables.

Lucy continued: “From here you build up with napkins and cutlery, which is especially important for placing multiple plates.

“Don’t be afraid to mix and match your dishes and glassware from different sets and patterns, it just adds to the personality of your table.

“Give each guest one glass each for water and wine with glassware. Another great tip is to buy tiny pegs and use them to add some rosemary or pine for that extra festive touch.”

But layering doesn’t have to stop at the table. Chairs and seats can also be placed on layers.

Guests should feel comfortable and relaxed when they sit at your Christmas table.

READ MORE: Christmas decorations: Tablescape tips – ‘start with the tablecloth’

Include cushions, blankets or extra padding in seats for extra comfort.

If you have sofa seating, provide an extra thick blanket for maximum comfort.

Choose height and light

Vicki said good lighting is “key” to setting the tone for the dining room and creating an atmosphere to complement the occasion.

She said: “Using lamps, relying too much on the ceiling light, can be great for creating a cozy and inviting feeling in the room.

“Opting for light bulbs that have a soft golden hue can also add a depth of warmth, perfect for winter.”

Lucy agreed, saying height is “one of the most important steps” in creating tables that can be found in magazines.

Taper candles and candelabras are one of the “best ways” to add height to tables.

“I suggest varying the heights of the candles down the center of your table and interspersing them with string and tea lights to create that festive warmth and glow,” added Lucy.

Don’t forget the smaller details

Vicki said: “Smaller details make all the difference in creating an inviting and festive theme throughout the home. Wreaths and wreaths make great wall decor, along with swapping out any photos or prints that are hung up for photos with a Christmas feel to really emphasize the theme.”

Lucy continued: “Flowers and foliage are an easy way to add that drama to your tablescape, here it really is ‘more is more’.

“Try adding a few small bud vases down the center of the table to create a meadow look. They can then be scattered around your home after the event for added joy.

“You can also use other decorative items that you already have in your home, special trinkets, fruit, chocolates, trinkets, foraged foliage from the garden or even homemade items for the most cost-friendly option.

“Consider a few small additions that make the table feel extra personal, like handwritten menu cards on top of each dinner plate or place name cards – you can get really creative with these and it’s a fun way to give your tablescape more personality.”

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Rare Baldassare Peruzzi nativity painting saved for UK as ‘Christmas gift’ | Painting

A rare nativity painting created more than 500 years ago by Baldassare Peruzzi has been rescued by the government as a “Christmas gift to the nation” after an export ban was imposed.

The Nativity, Peruzzi’s only work in the UK, will be shown in Northern Ireland next year. It was acquired by National Museums NI after raising funds to purchase the work from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, Arts Fund, Department for Communities NI and the Esme Mitchell Trust.

The painting, worth £277,990, had an export bar placed on it by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport last year. Cultural items deemed too important to leave the UK may be placed under an export bar.

The DCMS said at the time: “An extraordinarily rare painting depicting the Nativity is at risk of leaving the country unless a British buyer can be found to save the work for the nation.”

Peruzzi depicted his nativity scene at night. Photo: The National Gallery

The Nativity was painted around 1515 by Peruzzi, one of the leading figures in art in Rome in the first decades of the 16th century who worked with Raphael and Donato Bramante. He was an architect, theater designer, painter and draftsman.

Most of Peruzzi’s paintings were in fresco and have been lost to history. The Nativity is one of only a handful of works outside Italy.

The painting is undergoing conservation work at the National Gallery in London before moving to its permanent home at the Ulster Museum in Belfast in 2023.

Peruzzi depicted his nativity scene at night. The “nocturnal setting is most striking … Peruzzi’s use of dark tonalities for a work on this intimate scale was unusual, even daring,” the Arts Council said.

Arts and Heritage Minister Stephen Parkinson said: “For many, being part of a nativity play is one of the first ways we learn the story of Christmas. That is why I am delighted that this Christmas Eve we can announce that this incredible painting of that famous event has been saved for the nation thanks to the export bar system.”

Simon Thurley, the chairman of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, said the painting was “an incredibly important work of art” and its acquisition was “a fantastic Christmas present for art lovers, and especially for Northern Ireland”.

Jenny Waldman, the director of the Art Fund, said: “This is an extraordinary, and beautiful, work of art. We are delighted that … a painting by Peruzzi will now enter a public British collection for the first time.”

The National Heritage Memorial Fund contributed £99,990 towards the cost of the artwork. The Arts Fund gave £100,000, the Department for Communities NI contributed £70,000, and Esme Mitchell Trust gave £8,000.

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The mysteries of Christmas shine in the National Gallery’s paintings

“But my dear Sebastian, you cannot seriously believe it? . . . I mean about Christmas and the star and the three kings and the ox and the donkey.”

“Oh yes, I believe it. It’s a beautiful idea.”

“But you can’t believe things because it’s a beautiful idea.”

“But I do. That’s how I believe.”

Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited

About a third of the paintings in the National Gallery depict Christian subjects, and most need to be unpacked for today’s audiences. But the “sweet idea” of the Nativity and Adoration is immediately intelligible—it is indeed through paintings that the narrative is codified and its details become known. The Gospels do not mention how many Magi visited or describe Joseph; it is painters who have permanently formulated the three kings, made one of them black and cast Joseph as old, bearded, awkward and impotent — the comic twist.

Whatever you believe, how this iconography unfolded is a wonderful story in itself, and the National Gallery through centuries of wildly imaginative Christmas paintings is beautifully able to tell it.

His oldest picture, Margarito d’Arezzo’s “The Virgin Enthroned” (1263-64), a fragile tempera panel rarely shown, includes a small Nativity in a grotto where a reclining Mary, dressed in blue (the most expensive pigment), look at the baby. But the subject did not become prominent until the later 15th century, when Renaissance artists grasped its great potential: for verisimilitude, emotional intensity, decoration, even political messages.

‘The Virgin Enthroned’ (1263-64) by Margarito d’Arezzo © National Gallery Photographic Department

Already in the 1470s-1490s comes tremendous diversity in approach according to regional context, creative sensibility, clients’ demands. Haarlem painter Geertgen to Sint Jans’s small nocturne “Nativity” portrays the pale-faced Mary as empty, deeply awestruck as any new mother, shining in the light radiating from her baby, while everyone else recedes into the darkness. In Milan, Bramantino’s great architectural “Adoration” places a regal Mary in a dazzling geometry of stone cornices and doors. Botticelli’s parade of fashionable Florentines converging from opposite sides in his “Adoration” tondo was painted when the Medici staged Epiphany processions as displays of power of harmonious rule.

Giorgione in 1506 brings glowing Venetian color: the holy family in brilliant ultramarine and gold, their visitors a game of warm chromatic rhythms. In Ferrara in 1527, the eccentric Dosso Dossi represented the kings under a huge crimson moon in conflicting hues and distorted postures, as if struggling to understand the miracle before them. By 1633, Poussin’s “Adoration of the Shepherds” feels secular: a pastoral Arcadia in nostalgic copper-orange, the flowing drapery, marble columns, classy figures filled with longing for antiquity.

Amid this richness is one of the most affecting Nativity scenes, Piero della Francesca’s intimate, calm, spare version from the 1480s. After a three-year restoration, it returns, in what the gallery calls its “Christmas gift to the nation”, to hang alone in a small room, recreating as closely as possible the private sacred environment in Piero’s house in Borgo Sansepolcro for which it was designed.

Oil painting of a woman in a blue dress kneeling in the desert to a baby on a blue mantle.  An orchestra plays its lutes nearby

‘The Nativity’ (1480s) by Piero della Francesca © National Gallery Photographic Department

An aura of mystery draws you in immediately. Posed in front of a dilapidated barn, the figures are static and oddly cast with shadows. Angels strum stringless lutes. The bright Virgo is ethereal. A single magpie investigates everything. The light over the tableau of characters and beige-green Tuscan hills and towers is crystalline, yet subdued.

As often with Piero, an independent other world is conjured up, and within it a silent center: Mary’s introspective silence. Kneeling between the gang of angels and the ruddy shepherds grouped with Joseph, sitting inelegantly on a donkey’s saddle and looking away, she joins divine and mortal. The Christ Child lies on her lapis lazuli dress, stretched across the barren ground – the tangible link between mother and son.

The painting was considered unfinished until this restoration, which not only sharpened every detail, and repaired damage to one of the angel’s eyes, but also, by revealing a ray of heavenly light shining through a gap in the barn roof bars, the interpretation after the mystic. Probably influenced by St. Bridget’s vision of Mary giving birth painlessly while kneeling in prayer, a popular version in 15th-century Italy, Piero painted the supernatural as the real. His shadowless, miraculous scene, seemingly simple, is an ordered, perfect account of human existence.

Oil painting of people gathering around a woman in a blue robe holding her baby

‘The Adoration of the Kings’ (1564) by Pieter Bruegel the Old © National Gallery Photographic Department

To come from Piero to the surrounding galleries is to return to everyday life in its tumultuous confusion, as envisioned in Flemish art. The black king resplendently dressed in white and presenting a gleaming intricate boat atop a crystal ball – an allusion to both Christendom’s wide reach and Flemish wealth and global trade – dominates Pieter Bruegel’s “Adoration”, replete with wild, bumping figures. Jan Brueghel crammed an entire wintry city into his small glossy gouache “Adoration”, the sky crackles, the sky star-clear. Soldiers try to appease the crowds, but the news is out and people flock to the thin hut. The exotic visitor and his gift are repeated here; viewed by envious locals, he creates unease in each painting: the Brueghels are astute social commentators.

Jan Gossaert’s monumental “Adoration” always amazes, every inch animated by precious descriptions of material pleasures – treasures of goldsmiths, metalworkers, embroiderers, weavers – under a heavenly host representing the immaterial. Here, too, the black king stands out, proud, patient, breathtakingly dressed, in a composition in which every figure – from multicolored angels to dogs sniffing the pavement – is individualized within a magnificent unity.

Gossaert, the first Flemish artist to visit and learn in Rome, was an example to his countrymen. One, Bartolomeus Spranger, later uniquely fused Dutch realism and Italian mannerism; his brooding, satiny “Adoration” (1595), which resembles a court scene with balletic kings and mischievous page boys, is a piquant curiosity.

Oil painting of three men in bright clothes offering gifts to a baby in the lap of a woman in, yes, a blue robe

‘The Adoration of the Kings’ (1595) by Bartolomeus Spranger © National Gallery Photographic Department

Counter-Reformation theatricality was shaping religious art by this time, led in the 17th century by Guido Reni. In his earnest, overblown five-metre “Adoration of the Shepherds” – rapt worshipers under rosy clouds of putti – the genre reaches its limits of inventiveness. Only one of Trafalgar Square’s three-count Christmas paintings dates after 1670.

Renaissance Nativity and Adorations belong to a golden moment when artists enthralled with the re-creation of nature still worked within a sacramental culture. The National Gallery contains one tremendous, enigmatic exception: in his ecstatic “Mystic Nativity,” Botticelli turned away from naturalism toward a quasi-Gothic formal pattern. Dancing angels with olive branches surround Mary and Jesus, gigantic in relation to the other figures. Joseph curled up to sleep. Little devils scurry away.

Painting of people and angels dancing and embracing and rejoicing around and above a manger where a baby lies, worshiped by a woman in a (can you guess?) blue robe

‘Mystic Nativity’ (1500) by Sandro Botticelli © National Gallery Photographic Department

The only painting signed by Botticelli, “Mystic Nativity” bears numerous semi-legible inscriptions, which explain its creation in 1500 in the wake of “the troubles of Italy” – war and Savonarola’s religious fundamentalism. But this is a painting for all times. In his exquisite artistry, coherence is won from chaos, and on the angels’ fluttering scrolls the words sound: “On earth, peace, goodwill towards men.”


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Nendo designs Christmas tree with flickering star-shaped cutouts

Japanese design studio Nendo has created a gold-colored Christmas tree for the Tokyo Midtown mall in Roppongi, Tokyo, with kinetic cutouts designed to look like “twinkle lights.”

The 7.5 meter tall tree, which sits in the center of the mall, has a multi-layered surface made of flat metal panels bolted together to form a pyramid.

The Nendo Christmas Tree is located in Tokyo Midtown

Behind the panels, which have fluttering star-shaped cutouts, sit 416 compact fans. It is programmed to move the panels in patterns up, down and across the tree.

“The pieces not only swing and move with the wind, but can also stop swinging in the air and catch the wind at the programmed timing,” Nendo said. “By constantly receiving a certain amount of air flow, the pieces also float upwards in a sustained manner.”

Christmas tree designed by Nendo in Roppongi, Tokyo
The conical installation is lit from within

The pattern cutouts, which Nendo says look like “twinkle lights,” appear to revolve around the tree or create a rhythmic pattern that moves up and down the conical installation.

Matching cutouts in the same colour, described by Nendo as a “matte champagne gold”, were hung from the ceiling elsewhere in the mall.

These pieces, which consist of both the cut-out stars and the squares from which they are cut, can be seen on Tokyo Midtown’s garden terrace as well as in its gallery and atrium terraces.

“The theme glitters in the sky translates the creation of the uplifting and glittering atmosphere, the essence of Christmas, by literally generating ‘glitters’ through ‘sky’,” Nendo said of the decorative ornaments.

Cut out stars in gold at Tokyo Midtown
Star-shaped cutouts were hung from the ceiling

Nendo, which creates both architecture and products, recently unveiled an archive to house its products and furniture made from prefabricated concrete box divers.

The studio also designed the Tokyo 2020 Olympic cauldron, which opened to reveal a hydrogen-powered Olympic flame, and was among seventeen designers who reimagined fashion house Dior’s Medallion chair for Milan Design Week 2021.

The photography is by Takumi Ota and the video is by Bird and insects.

More images

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10 fun and quirky gifting ideas to bring a smile on your loved one’s face

Christmas 2022: 10 Christmas gift options that are sure to bring a smile to your loved one’s face | FPJ

Christmas is the time for some fun family gatherings filled with love and laughter. This festive time at the end of a year is a new beginning and so, what better than to make your loved ones feel special and make them realize how much they mean to you. And for that, a special person deserves a special gift. We have compiled a special gift list for you that can be handy when choosing a gift for your loved one.

Beautiful jewelry

Mairaa Fine Jewelery by Ambica Mohta |

This classy emerald diamond necklace, heart ring crafted in 18 carat gold will be loved by all emerald lovers.

Mairaa Fine Jewelery by Ambica Mohta is everyday stylish and chic jewellery. These handmade designs in 18kt gold or rose gold with natural diamonds, rose cuts, rubies, emeralds and pearls are the best gift to choose. They specialize in assembling custom jewelry, refurbishing old jewelry, baby jewelry, and fine gifts. So, just place an order!

Available online

Price: on request

Diamond jewelry

Diamond earrings by Goldsmiths

Diamond Earrings by Goldsmiths |

Goldsmiths offers a unique high-quality and enchanting catalog of jewelery that provides a more personalized and meaningful shopping experience for every modern woman.

Available online

Price: on request

Stylish accessories

Flower ring by Shaya

Flower Ring by Shaya |

Shaya’s wildflower collection offers a statement ring in silver that is a sumptuous delineation of floral arrangements built in the form of ornate embellishment. This ring goes with every evening dress, whether it’s a floor-length maxi or a traditional drape. Gifting this ring and other accessories collection from the brand will make your baby, sister or anyone happy.

Available online

Price: INR 750 onwards

Antique clock

Antique watch by Jaipur Watch Company

Antique Watch by Jaipur Watch Company |

Jaipur Watch Company has created the art of Pichwai on a hand painted watch dial in a stainless steel case. Pichwai (pichvai) is a painting style that originated more than 400 years ago, in the town of Nathdwara in Rajasthan, India. Intricate and visually stunning, pichwai paintings depict now-forgotten stories from Lord Krishna’s life. This can make the best gift option for your younger sibling.

Available online

Price: on request

Scented candles

Lumic scented candles

Lumic scented candles |

Create a clear, unmatched environment with the power of soothing scented candles by Lumic. You can choose from Belgian Waffle, Botanical Bliss and French Vanilla scents to give your loved one something special for someone who has keen senses of smell and is an admirer of scents. They are also great for a date night in the comfort of your homes during this holiday season.

Available online

Price: INR 599 onwards

Luxury curtains collection

Luxury curtain collection by Nesterra

Luxury Curtains Collection by Nesterra |

Silken roots is a luxurious collection by Nesterra, a premium decor brand from the illustrious KK Birla Group to drape the home in free-flowing silk fabrics that can turn any surface in the home into a statement. These are the perfect gift options for those looking for home decor.

Available online

Price Range: INR 1200 and above

Resin home decor products

Resin Home Decor Products - Buddhist Mantra Wall Art by Artist Madhavi Adalja

Resin Home Decor Products – Buddhist Mantra Wall Art by Artist Madhavi Adalja |

This Buddhist Mantra wall art known as ‘Siddham’ would make an ideal gift option for a person who likes to meditate or to add a peaceful atmosphere to any space. Bespoke resin decor products by artist Madhavi Adalja are beautiful and unique resin art masterpieces such as wall art, tables, coasters, patios, trays and much more. These handcrafted pieces add the perfect modern touch to any interior space.

Available online

Price: on request


Handbags by Kate Spade New York

Handbags by Kate Spade New York |

Kate Spade New York’s new collection features gift products such as handbags, purses, jewelry, shoes, dresses and accessories designed to enhance an entire look this Christmas.

Available online

Price: INR 3000 onwards


Crocs shoes

Crocs Footwear |

Your boyfriend is waiting a long time to buy his favorite comfortable shoes, but could not find time to have them; so you might want to gift him glittery Crocs, which are an upgraded version of iconic Crocs comfort.

Available online and in stores

Price: INR 3,495 onwards


The Tinted Story sunglasses

The Tinted Story Sunglasses |

Fashion-forward sunglasses will always match your glamorous outfits and protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. The Tinted Story has a beautiful mix for every kind of sartorial signature. The collection showcases eccentric sunglasses focused on statement frames, and timeless design for this season. If you want your best friend to look like the star of the party, then you can definitely gift them these sunglasses this Christmas season.

Available online

Price: INR 1000 onwards

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22 Christmas Wall Decor Ideas to Try This Holiday Season

‘Tis the season to decorate! As you begin preparing your home for the holidays, don’t forget to decorate the halls with Christmas wall art and decor. From bauble wreaths and wall hanging Christmas trees to DIY paper decorations and festive prints, here are 22 Christmas wall decor ideas to add some holiday cheer to your space.

Interior designers and Santa’s elves agree: dressing up your walls is a great way to bring in the festive season with a bang. Sure, nothing can steal the spotlight from your Christmas tree, but the right wall decor can really pull your decorating scheme together with the added bonus of saving precious floor and table space. Even if you can’t commit to drilling holes (looking at you, tenants), There are tricks and tips to help you create a beautiful seasonal wall display without risking your security deposit. So, without any further ado, let’s dive into our list and find the perfect Christmas wall decorations for you!

1. Trinket garland

Leaf wreaths are a staple of the holiday season, but why not try something different this year? A festive bauble is an easy and stylish way to bring some Christmas cheer into your home. To make one, simply attach a series of mini balls to a circular wire frame with string or ribbon. Hang it on the wall for instant holiday glam!

2. Christmas Gallery Wall

To get into the holiday spirit, decorate your blank wall with festive photos and prints. Choose pictures of family gatherings, snowy winter scenes, or anything else that speaks to the season, and arrange them in an eye-catching display. You can enhance your wall art by wrapping the frames with fairy lights or tinsel.

3. Christmas bow ribbon art

For those who don’t want to trade out their prints for the holidays, here’s a thrifty trick to turn any hanging art into a festive display: wrap some leftover ribbon over a picture frame and tie a bow on top. Repeat this for several picture frames, and presto—you have yourself a Christmas gallery wall!

4. Advent calendar Wall hanger

Here’s something to entertain the little ones in the run up to Christmas: an advent calendar wall hanging. You can make one yourself with fabric or paper or pick one up at your local craft store. Put it up and let the kids take a treat or gift out of a bag every day—a wall decoration and a surprise all in one!

5. DIY Paper Decorations

Paper Christmas decorations are a great way to kick off the holiday craft season. Crepe paper strips, paper chains and star garlands add a festive flourish to your decorating scheme and are easy enough for anyone to make (kids included!). Not to mention, they’re eco-friendly and a lot less hassle to store away for next year.

6. Door frame draped wreath

Simple, chic and very easy to recreate, wearing a wreath around a door frame is a great alternative to a mantle or a staircase. You can use real or faux garland – just make sure it’s long enough to fit around the sides of the frame. Add twinkling lights and some festive decorations for sparkle and style.

7. Christmas stockings

Instead of relying on a mantelpiece, hang your Christmas stockings on the wall! You can use your coat rack to hold them up and add some greenery and LED lights to complete the look. Santa has an uncanny ability to find them, wherever they are, so feel free to hang your stockings all over the house!

8. Christmas DIY Art Wall

This may sound like a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be! The husband and wife Instagram duo @ahousewebuilt basic Christmas tree shapes drawn on cardboard paper. They then framed their drawings and hung them on their living room wall to create unique holiday decor. Buddy the Elf would be proud!

9. Traditional Christmas wreath

Hanging a seasonal wreath is an evergreen (pun intended!) Christmas wall decor idea that looks just as good now as it did decades ago. Put one above the fireplace, in the hallway, or over the stove in the backyard. You can leave it green and natural for a clean, modern look or make it cheerful and bright with bows, pinecones and tinsel.

10. Thrifty Vintage Finds

If you’re looking for Christmas wall decorations on a budget, why not try scouring thrift stores and flea markets? You can find some truly unique pieces that will add loads of character and charm to your space. Look out for vintage signs, rustic bells and old fashioned ice skates – they make great Christmas decor when hung on the wall.

11. Christmas Wall Stickers

Wall decals are the ultimate hassle-free Christmas wall decor idea. Reusable designs allow decoration to be added to any room year after year without damaging the paintwork. They come in different sizes and styles, from snowflakes to reindeer – just stick them on and don’t worry about taking them off until New Years.

12. Wall Hanging Christmas Tree

Small space dwellers, this one is for you! If you’re short on Christmas tree real estate, why not hang one on the wall? A 2D wall-mounted tree looks just as festive as its real-life counterpart and won’t take up any of your prized square footage. It’s also smart for those who are in storage—no more digging out that artificial tree year after year!

13. Wood Ornaments

Whether it’s farmhouse style, rustic or shabby chic, wooden Christmas decorations bring a rustic warmth to your home decor during the holidays. Combined with fresh greenery, pine cones and strings of lights, these pieces add texture and dimension to your walls – a change of pace from the usual Christmas prints.

14. Mini cliffs galore

Never underestimate the power of a well-placed wreath. Or two cliffs. Or five… A series of mini garlands hung at staggered heights makes a big impact, and you can make your own versions yourself with a few basic supplies. Put them in the hallway, above doors or over the bed—they look good just about anywhere.

15. Christmas Leather Decor

Sometimes seasonal decorating requires little more than a few tweaks to your existing space—and here’s a great example. An ordinary basket ladder can become a holiday shelf with just a few Christmas decorations. Swap your regular items for some festive trinkets and admire your new holiday display!

16. Holiday #Shelfie

Say you don’t have a lot of wall space or can’t put up permanent decorations. A holiday shelfie is the perfect solution! Style your bookshelf with all the usual Christmas paraphernalia – a few presents, a wreath and some seasonal trinkets – and you’ll have a festive wall that doesn’t require hooks or nails.

17. Winter board art

Do you have a space in your home that you can easily update with seasonal drawings, messages or decor? A humble chalkboard (or an entire chalkboard wall, if you happen to have one) is a great canvas for Christmas creativity. Use it to write a festive message, create a sweet winter scene, or draw a fun holiday character.

18. Rustic Ski Lodge Accent

Even if you can’t hit the slopes this year, you can still bring a little bit of the ski lodge to your entryway wall. Hang some ski poles or lean vintage skis against the wall to create a beautiful winter montage. You can carry the theme throughout the house with simple decorations such as a wooden board, woolen gloves or an old sled.

19. Remove metal posters

There’s Christmas wall art, and then there’s Displate posters. Printed on sturdy metal plates and mounted to the wall with magnets, they are easy to hang and exchange once the holidays are over. Choose from hundreds of licensed designs, including vintage Christmas art, Peanuts Christmas cards, Star Wars Christmas prints, and more!

20. Holiday card displayed

The best Christmas wall decor ideas are the ones that have meaning behind them, and what better way to celebrate the season of giving than with a hearty display of holiday greetings? Instead of stuffing Christmas cards in a drawer, hang them on the wall for everyone to see! A simple string and mini clothespins will do the trick.

21. Christmas Hanging Branch

A full-sized Christmas tree may still be the centerpiece of your festive decor, but if you’re looking for a way to spruce up the walls with greenery, a holiday hanging branch is just the thing! Search the outdoors for the perfect branch, then add waterfall lights and mini balls to create a magical winter wonderland on your wall.

22. Fairy Light Christmas Tree

Fairy lights aren’t just for the tree – they can also be used to create an eye-catching wall feature! Take your inspiration from this glittering Tannenbaum. Tap in some small nails and thread a few strings of LEDs into the shape of a tree. Top it off with a traditional wreath, and you won’t recognize your staircase—in a good way!

Over to you!

Let your walls do the talking this festive season with these 22 Christmas wall decor ideas. Whether you’re looking for a subtle wintry touch or an all-out Christmas extravaganza, there’s something here to suit every home. So go ahead and let your creativity flow—it’s time to decorate those halls!

Are there any Christmas wall decor ideas we missed? Let us know in the comments below. And be sure to check out our Christmas Pinterest board for more holiday wall art ideas!

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