Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Adoration of the Shepherds

The Adoration of the Shepherds, by the wonderful Venetian artist Jacopo Tintoretto; on display in the incomparable treasury of art that is the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice.

From a guidebook by Francesco Valcanover;  "In an open scenic illusionism, the shepherds below present their gifts with impassioned and joyous gestures.  They are counterpointed by the light and shadow created by the brightness from outside; above, main and secondary figures taking part in the divine event take on attitudes of conscious, almost solemn participation and are dazzled by the light which streams through the cracks between the wooden beams of the humble barn.  The two different spiritual moments are underlined also by the different colour quality; without breaking the continuity the lower part is continuously struck by reverberations and reflections and at the same time carefully and realistically evokes the animals in the stall, the brightly-colored peacock, the humble tools; the upper part is calmer and more relaxed although the wide chromatic background painting is strengthened by sudden, flashing rays of light."

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