Adoration of the Shepherds
- unknown artist
Unknown artist, Adoration of the Shepherds, 1600s or early 1700s. Oil paint and gold on canvas; 54 × 42 in. Gift of Frank Barrows Freyer II for the Frank Barrows Freyer Collection at the Denver Art Museum, 1969.356.
In the shadow of a manger, the Christ Child is adored by a group of shepherds who present offerings of a basket of eggs and a hen or game bird, in stark contrast to the luxurious and exotic gifts presented by the three magi at their visit. The shepherds are accompanied by the traditional ox and ass who observe the scene, along with a sheep at the bottom of the frame, underscoring the humility of Christ’s birth. The Christ Child lies on a bed of cloth and wheat, the delicate sheaves outlined in gold, a reference to the Eucharist. Behind him are the Virgin Mary, who cradles him gently, and St. Joseph, who looks on from behind her, holding a lily.
Above the scene, an angel in the heavens holds a banderole reading “Gloria in excelsis Deo” or “Glory to God in the highest.” In the landscape, visible at right, shepherds tend their flocks. The pink-tinged clouds and blue skies contrast with the darker palette of the manger and the garments of the figures in it.
– Kathryn Santner, Frederick and Jan Mayer Fellow of Spanish Colonial Art, 2022
- "Loan Exhibition of Latin American and Pre-Columbian Art, "Institute of Latin American Studies, University of Michigan, July 7-25, 1939
- "Three Southern Neighbors - Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia," Newark Museum, April 14-December 31, 1942
- "The Frank Barrows Freyer Collection of Spanish-Peruvian Paintings," Lowe Art Gallery, University of Miami, November 14, 1961-January 28, 1962
- "Treasures from Peru: Spanish Colonial Paintings from the School of Cuzco," Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, 1967
- "The Frank Barrows Freyer Collection of Spanish Peruvian Paintings in the Denver Art Museum," The High Museum of Art, December 7-29, 1969.