The Birth of Christ: A Reconciliation between Man and the Universe
In the beginning the relationship between God and man was harmonious. It was broken as a result of a seemingly innocent temptation, but the consequences of this act have proved to be terrible. Man’s attempts to restore harmony remained powerless, thus God himself had to interfere. He couldn’t do it from the position of power, he had to serve as an example and follow the path that any human being takes in their earthly life: He was born, matured, developed and fulfilled the goal of his life. The task of the incarnate God, Jesus Christ, was to conquer death and to restore man’s status in harmony with God – the universe. Therefore the birth of Christ was a necessary condition for the reconciliation between man and God.
The icon of the Nativity of Christ shows the cosmic dimension of this event; it documents the scenes related to it, interpreting their essence. It helps us to understand what happened before and after, it eliminates chronological and spatial boundaries. The symbolism of this icon deals with man’s greatness and lowliness, with the inverse relationship between the spiritual and the material, and what’s crucial – it shows the beginning of a life that is absolutely, radically new.
Orest Kormashov is an artist, lecturer and icon scholar. He has taught painting at Tallinn University for more than 30 years. He has also devoted himself to painting and icon restoration, to lecturing about the world of icons, as well as to the activities of the Museum of Russian Icons.
The lecture will be in Estonian.
All who are interested, are welcome to the lecture!