All eyes are drawn to the crib in this illumination of the Birth of Christ from the Gospel of Luke. The presence of the child is central; yet we do not see the baby. We know He is there; but He is not shown. Gold leaf, used to create a beacon of light extending to and from heaven, represents the presence and power of the Divine.
The faces of the Virgin Mary, Joseph and the gathered shepherds glow with light from the crib. The bounding bull, taken from the prehistoric drawings found in the caves of Lascaux, France, and the earthiness of the illumination ground the Nativity in human, lived experience.