Francis Hoyland - Nativity polyptych

Francis Hoyland (1930- )

Oil

90 x 120 cm

1961

Methodist Modern Art Collection
HOY/1963/1

Image Copyright © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. The Methodist Church Registered Charity no. 1132208

Luke 2:7–10   Matthew 2: 16   John 13:2b – 9, 12- 14   Matthew2: 1–2, 11

The central image is flanked by four smaller ones and one predella-like image across the bottom of the panel. Hoyland’s central scene shows Jesus in the manger, under a lantern with Mary propped up and Joseph asleep on the floor.  The top left image shows the announcement to the shepherds; top right, the Magi’s journey (three unregal figures, back-packing, through dangerous-looking Lickey Woods in Birmingham,); bottom right, the Flight into Egypt with Mary carrying the child and Joseph pushing a pram through Richmond Park. The remaining images portray the Massacre of the Innocents. The bottom left shows it as a nuclear attack, with burning buildings and a dead baby. The wider ‘predella’ shows it in terms of the warfare in the Congo when Hoyland painted the polyptych.

Commentary based on A Guide to the Methodist Art Collection.


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