Hermine Arbeitshuber
A Victor’s Crown
Austria

 At first glance, this set of artificial stone gives the impression of a Pop and Mom crèche.  Mary and Joseph radiate the well-fed happiness of people at ease with themselves and the world. Indeed, for some German cultures, physical plentiness is a sure promise of bliss.  This holy couple seems happy to present their Child-Savior to the world.  Mary’s posture, although mama rather than queen, is that of the enthroned Madonna.  The figure of Joseph suggests both physical support and a proud husband.  His generous stature complements and contrasts the sturdy laurel to Mary’s right.  Its dense foliage covers mother and child like a victor’s crown.

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