Nativity- Image History

Nativity was first painted by John August Swanson when he was in England in 1987 as a 23" x 7" watercolor. It was used in the creation of the 1988 serigraph of the same name, which was printed at Advanced Graphics Studio in London. It was made as part of the Nativity Triptych, which included Shepherds, 1985 and Epiphany, 1988. The Triptych was further expanded to six artworks with the inclusion of: A Visit, 1995, Flight into Egypt, 2002, and Presentation in the Temple, 2004.

In 2011, Swanson revisited Nativity for a one of one edition created for Juan Diego Catholic High School in Salt Lake City, UT. A scan was made of the 1988 serigraph, and a single giclée was printed of the piece. Additional details were hand-painted on top of the print by Swanson for the school, and the Swanson Studio kept a digital record of the artwork.

Six years later, in 2017, a giclée edition of The Annunciation was released, and planning was discussed for a new giclée of the Nativity to have available as a related work. It was to be based on the sold-out serigraph edition and to have many of the refinements from the unique piece made for Juan Diego Catholic High.

In May, 2022, after the posthumous release of the Ecclesiastes giclée, work was started on the Nativity, 2022 giclée. This giclée edition has been sized to match the height of The Annunciation. The giclée has added soft, warm skin tones and gradations, as well as features additional details in the plants and sky from Swanson’s other serigraphs, paintings, and sketches. Elements taken from the digital record of the Juan Diego work were moved, combined with a direct scan of the serigraph, and placed in the new giclée to ensure that there would be no image degradation. The giclée edition was completed after five months, in October, 2022.






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