The Adoration of the Shepherds, c. 1656-1657

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Here Rembrandt challenged himself to suggest form simply through the way he dispersed light and dark. Works such as this and the nocturnal Rest on the Flight belong to his so-called dark manner. As if by some miracle of etching, the faces of Mary and the infant Jesus are visible through the thick veil of darkness, lit only by the shepherd's lantern and a light glowing off Joseph's Bible. The contrasting areas of light and dark can be read as epitomizing the hopefulness of Christ's birth and the suffering he will later endure on our behalf.

The Adoration of the Shepherds
Artist Life
1606 - 1669
Accession Number
Earl of Aylesford, (L. 58); Dr. C.D. Ginsburg, (L. 1145); Frederick Keppel, 1919
Catalogue Raisonne
Hind 255 vi/viii; B. 46; Mz. 237 vi or vii/viii; Holl.vii/viii; B-B. 52-1 iv?/viiiH
Curator Approved

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