For he that is mighty hath done to me great things;
And holy is his name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him
From generation to generation.
(Luke 1:49-50, KJV)
Those of us fortunate enough to be on Tyrus Clutter's Christmas card list receive an original print from the Florida-based artist each holiday season, inspired by a masterwork of Western religious art. This week's new Marian-themed image from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection is Clutter's 2016 Christmas art offering, First Fruits, a PVC relief print on lavender paper based on Renaissance Master Sandro Botticelli's late 15th century tondo in tempera, Madonna of the Pomegranate, showing the Virgin Mary surrounded by angels with the Christ Child holding the fleshy fruit torn open on his lap, a symbol of both fertility and of the resurrection and eternal life. The troubled look on Mary's face reveals her understanding of the sacrificial role the "first fruit of her womb" will play in redeeming humankind. This new Botticelli-inspired print joins two other seasonal art pieces in the gallery of the Tyrus Clutter biosketch page in the Sacred Artists section. (John Kohan)