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Plaque with the Adoration of the Shepherds
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Plaque with the Adoration of the Shepherds

Description Conservation Provenance Credit
Description Valerio Belli is the first great engraver of rock crystal and other semiprecious stones of the Renaissance. The subject of this plaque is Christian, indeed, the shape suggests a freestanding devotional work, but the firm, athletic, precisely modeled bodies reflect Belli's admiration of the aesthetics of classical, pagan antiquity. The artist has signed his name in Latin on the Roman-style pedestal base of a broken column behind St. Joseph. With great virtuosity, Belli has defined the perspective of the simple roof with a vanishing point behind the column, creating a deep space behind the frieze-like arrangement of the figures.
Date Description Narrative
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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ca. 1530-1546 (Renaissance)
rock crystal, gilded copper frame
Accession Number
4 1/2 x 3 1/8 in. (11.5 x 8 cm)
  • Italy, Rome (Place of Origin)
  • Italy, Vicenza (Place of Origin)


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