Adoration of the Shepherds, Giorgione

Description of the picture:

Adoration of the Shepherds – Giorgione. 1505-1510. Wood, oil. 90.8 x 110.5
Unlike many of his own contemporaries, Venetian masters, Giorgione didn’t write huge multi-figure compositions. In his own works, he was laconic, expressing the essence with an internal associative understanding of the plot, often giving the viewer the opportunity to think through and understand the picture himself.

In the Adoration of the Shepherds in addition to the indomitable figures of the Holy Family and knee-deep shepherds, a significant place is occupied by the landscape – not just a background, but an active participant in the act. Its deep-seated perspective on the horizon is closed by blue mountains, which makes a natural sense of place and air. A special role was played by lighting, which became different: the clear purity of the early morning, characteristic of quattrocento works, was replaced by a dim afternoon light, which gives the picture greater integrity and volume. The dark brown tone of the cave beautifully and contrastingly emphasizes the colors of the clothes of Joseph, Mary and two shepherds, whose bent backs are smoothly and rhythmically repeated in oval lines that outline the entrance to the cave, near which the characters are located.

Very few documents have been preserved about the artist’s activities. Not a single signature painting of Giorgione was found, some of his unfinished works are known today only in engravings and copies. The attribution of the master’s works is a rather complicated problem that has caused controversy among art historians since the 16th century. Today, most researchers are inclined to believe that the author of “Adoration of the Magi” is Giorgione, although in the 20th century there were many discussions about this."

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