December is here!  While it is impossible not to notice the shift in weather, it’s not all bad – while it may be colder, the festive season has also begun! Celebrate the seasonal events inspiring celebration from religious groups, as well as the beauty of the natural world and its influence on visual artists. While the specific types of paint, the application or subjects differ greatly between these pieces, all of the artists shared their inspiration in this beautiful time of year and the environment it creates.

Family and Friends

These artworks all depict a Christmas enjoyed by the side of friends and family. A range of styles and media are used across the pieces, but all intend to evoke that warm festive feeling we all get walking the streets in December!


Christmas Shopping, Claire Huntley / Private Collection


Boxing Day Empties, 2005 (mixed media), Lincoln Seligman / Private Collection


Christmas Tree Selling, 1988, Magdolna Ban / Private Collection


L’Hiver, 1925 (colour litho), Georges Barbier (1882-1932) / Private Collection / DaTo Images


Christmas by the fireplace, Claire Huntley / Private Collection


Christmas Culture

These paintings portray specific events or happenings in winter, such as Christmas Shopping, Ice Skating and similar pursuits.


Christmas skating, Somerset House with pink lights, 2014 (oil on canvas), Andrew Macara / Private Collection


Hilltop Toys and Games, Lavinia Hamer (Contemporary Artist) / Private Collection


The Illuminations, 2014, (oil on panel), Chris Ross Williamson


Santa sleeping by the fire, 1995, David Cooke (Contemporary Artist) / Private Collection


Tower Bridge: Skating on Thin Ice, Judy Joel / Private Collection


Spruced Up Santa, Jenny Frean / Private Collection


Christianity Celebrations

Christianity celebrates several days around this time of year, and we have an abundance of vibrant religious artwork on this period. From the Virgin Mary to the Three Kings, all elements of Christian religious history are covered by what we have in the archive – we also hold many religious texts and documents.


Angels, 1999, (ink and gouache), Jane Tattersfield / Private Collection


Nativity (w/c on paper), Elena Khmeleva (Contemporary Artist) / Private Collection


Three Kings, Richard Hook (b.1938) / Private Collection / © Look and Learn


Winter at the Convent, Margaret Loxton / RONA Gallery, London, UK


The Nativity (w/c & gouache on paper), Lisa Graa Jensen / Private Collection

Hannukah Celebrations

Hannukah is also celebrated in December by those of the Judaism faith. The Hannukah Lamp features in most Jewish artworks on this subject, and a large variety of visual styles and methods of depiction are used. We have highlighted some contemporary paintings below, alongside book extracts and engravings. We also hold contemporary photographs covering Hannukah celebrations across the globe.


Lighting the Chanukah Lamp, 1996 (oil on canvas), Dora Holzhandler (1928-2015) / Private Collection


On the Corner Table, from the series, Tereska’s Gift, 2015 (photograph), Joy Lions / Private Collection


Illustration from the ‘The Regensburg Pentateuch’, c.1300 (ink, tempera & gold-leaf on paper), German School, (14th century) / The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel / The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir


Mattathias Appealing to the Jewish Refugees by Doré – Bible, Gustave Dore (1832-83) / Lebrecht History


Jerusalem (2), from the series Italian Synagogue, 2015 (mixed media), Joy Lions / Private Collection


Fields and Fauna

Animals play a huge part in festivities of the season – in some situations, as ceremonial figureheads and in others as traditional foodstuffs. However, most popular among artists are contemporary works depicting animals of all kinds enjoying the festivities along with human companions. Wild animals frolic in snowy fields, and pets gather around fireplaces.


The Twelve days of Christmas, 2010, (oil on canvas), Jane Tattersfield / Private Collection


Christmas Warmth (oil on canvas), Pat Scott (1932-2017) / Private Collection


Snowy Peace, 2011 (acrylic ink and gouche on paper), Lisa Graa Jensen / Private Collection


Christmas Chorus (acrylic on canvas), Pat Scott (1932-2017) / Private Collection


The Fox Dance, 1986, Liz Wright (b.1950) / Private Collection


Many of the beautifully festive artworks shown here have been created by our Bridgeman Studio Artists. For more information on Bridgeman Studio click here.


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