Adoration of the Shepherds - Giorgione. 90.8 x 110.5
Unlike many of his contemporaries, Venetian masters, Giorgione did not write large multi-figure compositions. In his works, he was laconic, expressed 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 obligatory figures of the Holy Family and kneeling shepherds, a significant place is occupied by the landscape - not just a background, but an active participant in the action. Its deep-seated perspective on the horizon is closed by blue mountains, which creates a natural feeling of space 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, which 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.