Description The Evangelist Luke recorded that the birth of Christ was announced first to shepherds, who then went to Bethlehem to find the baby, but his Gospel does not state that they worshipped Jesus. This interpretation was introduced by St. Francis of Assisi, who stressed that the glad news was first revealed to the shepherds to signify the importance of the poor in God's plan; it remained important to the teachings of the Franciscan religious order, founded by St. Francis. Bernardo Strozzi, a member of a reform branch of the Franciscans, suggests these shepherds' poverty through their appearance and their humble gift. This combination of a naturalistic treatment of the subject with an artistic mixing of bright colors is characteristic of painting in Genoa at this time. The clarity of the composition is in keeping with the Church's Counter-Reformation demands that artists should be more concerned with conveying an effective message than displaying their own artistry. For more information on this painting, please see Federico Zeri's 1976 catalogue no. 374, pp. 492-493.
|7/03/1938||Treatment||coated; inpainted; lined; loss compensation; repaired; stabilized; varnish removed or reduced|
|4/12/1966||Treatment||cleaned; coated; inpainted; lined; loss compensation|
|12/04/1986||Examination||examined for condition|
- Italian Painting of the Seventeenth Century. Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin. 1952.
- Bernardo Strozzi. State University of New York at Binghampton, Vestal. 1967.
- Three Baroque Masters: Strozzi, Crespi, Piazzetta. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore. 1944.
- Genoese Masters. Dayton Art Institute, Dayton; The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford. 1962-1963.
- From El Greco to Pollock: Early and Late Works by European and American Artists. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore. 1968.
- Bernardo Strozzi: Master Painter of the Italian Baroque. Palazzo Ducale, Genoa., Genoa; The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1995.
- Highlights from the Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1998-2001.
Provenance Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome, prior to 1897 [1897 catalogue: no. 480, as Murillo]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902
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