'A large Nativity on a single panel, the canon had said; narrative altarpieces are no longer in fashion. You'll need to come and measure the palace chapel. Or perhaps an Adoration, with shepherds and wise men, if you'd rather, added the canon, but for the same price. Your fee will not be based on the number of horses or camels, but on the way in which you make the incarnation of divinity visible. Christ and sex - right off, the two words seem mutually exclusive. The word sin separates them and keeps them forever at a distance. The former is exempt from it, and the latter is immersed in it. And for precisely that reason, bringing them together in an image would be the strongest and surest way to create surprise and strike the senses.'
The ambiguous figure of the baby Jesus and his representation in art run through the whole of this short narrative essay, by the author of Now Now, Louison (2018).
‘One day in 2007,’ recalls Jean Frémon about a visit to artist Louise Bourgeois’s studio, ‘I discovered an entirely new series of drawings…. silhouettes of women with embryos in their wombs, drawn with a brush full of water and red gouache. These drawings were, for me, the most poignant of her long career. Each time I visited, Louise would ask me about what I was writing. … I said: it’s the story of the first painter who had the idea of representing the baby Jesus completely naked rather than in swaddling clothes…. Louise asked me for the text, which I sent to her. When I next came to visit her, five drawings were awaiting me to illustrate the book. The French edition was published by Fata Morgana on 25 December 2009, the birthday not only of Jesus, but also of Louise Bourgeois. Several weeks later, Louise signed the fifteen books that made up the limited edition.’