Adoration of the Shepherds - Andrea Mantegna. 40x55.6
Mantegna's work is a large, in fact, the first truly Renaissance master in Northern Italy.
Mantegna perceives the events of the Christian history as something very close, therefore in his picture there are many living details - Joseph’s dozing pose, the tattered clothes of shepherds who came from far away, the common people of these people. But at the same time, portraying adult participants in the scene, the artist slightly changed the usual human proportions, giving the characters unprecedented high growth. The main characters are close to the viewer, while the landscape dramatically goes into the distance, which emphasizes the solemnity of the whole scene.
The landscape, with its stony stony landscape that distinguishes many of Mantegna's paintings, reinforces the impression of the power of the canvas. A scene of worship unfolds on a platform resembling a mountain plateau, in the distance a rock is depicted, on the right is a sawn tree with slightly overgrown branches, a mountain almost devoid of vegetation, and only in the distance a verdant hill is visible.
Mantegna's painting is bright and dry, as if covered with a hot wind, and the air is so clear that the smallest details are visible in the distance. The artist’s Sacred History transforms the earth, as if reminds that after the coming of Christ, the whole face of this world has changed and man cannot live as before: he must become stronger. It is surprising that such an impression is made by a very small, like many easel work of Mantegna, picture, not without reason he became famous as a monumental painter.