By Sara Schnelle
The moment that Christ was born is the event that is at the center of Christmas. When we conceived of this project, this piece was the impetus. It seemed natural to us that the birth of Christ would have been represented in art before. Yet it is not an image that is included in the history of art. It is medieval legend and theology that Mary experienced no labor pains because she was sinless and virginal. In my research into the subject, I discovered that it is possible and very desirable using ancient midwifery techniques to eliminate pain in childbirth and to even give birth alone. Moreover, according to apocryphal texts, Mary did birth Jesus Christ by herself. I am awestruck when I consider the agency Mary had when she gave birth to her own savior. Without his mother giving birth to him, Jesus does not fulfill the requirements of the Trinity of being both man and God for our salvation. Therefore, Mary is a vital component, and images like this one are necessary and must be painted to reintroduce the power of women into the Christian religion.