Fine Art (Without Busting the Bank!)

If you’re looking for a Christmas gift for that inscrutable person in your life, whose tastes and desires are near-impossible to figure out sometimes, here’s a suggestion: classic art.

Now, that’s not to suggest that you bust open your life savings to go some fancy auction to buy a rare original work of art.

You can spend less than $100 for a framed print from reputable fine art printing studios, and you’ll have a very grateful recipient thanking you for it.

Since it’s a Christmas gift, you could even go for a Christmas theme. Religious art is very popular, even among non-religious folks, so here are a few suggestions of popular art prints that depict the Baby Jesus.

La Vierge au Lys (The Virgin of the Lilies) is a famous 19th century painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau of France. It is a stunning, yet simple, nearly photo-realistic depiction of Mother Mary presenting her beautiful baby Son to the world. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the title of this painting, it’s very likely that you’ve seen it hundreds of times, and would recognize it immediately.

Virgin Teaching the Child to Read (The Madonna Del Libro) is a late 15-century painting by Sandro Botticelli. In the way Botticelli contrasts realistic fashioning of his human subjects with atmospheric landscapes seen through a window, Virgin Teaching the Child to Read seems to be inspired by the works of some contemporaries from The Netherlands: Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden and Hubert van der Goes. It’s moving, and gorgeous in its simplicity.

The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne is a well-known and much-discussed oil painting by Leonardo da Vinci. The work depicts St. Anne, her daughter the Virgin Mary and the Baby Jesus. The little Savior seems to be grappling with a sacrificial lamb that symbolizes his Passion, as his Virgin Mother tries to calm and restrain him.

Art scholars have debated for centuries over the layered meanings in this painting. To the layperson, it works simply as a beautiful da Vinci painting. If your gift recipient is a self-described art historian, he or she will appreciate your sophistication!



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