Adoration of the Shepherds (New York)



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Adoration of the Shepherds (New York)

Artists  >  Andrea Mantegna

The Adoration of the Shepherds is one of the works that Andrea Mantegnacarried out in Padua, during his younger years.
Most scholars agree on the date as being between 1449 and 1450. However, according to Cipriani, it could be more like a work developed around the time of the San Zeno Altarpiece.
The original painting of tempera on wood has been radically decreased in size: among the characters that are reaching the hut on the right, it is possible to see one that has been cut - that means that at least on that side the painting had been reduced. Later it was transferred to canvas.
It is currently kept at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.  
The Madonna is placed in the middle, in adoration of the Child, and surrounded by a crowd of cherubs. Leaning against a tree, St. Joseph sleeps.
On the right, the two shepherds on their knees are a proof of Mantegna's knowledge of Flemish painting. In particular, similarities with the "cursed" from The Last Judgement from Rogier Van Der Weyden housed in Beaune can be noticed. It is probable therefore, that when Andrea carried out this work, he was still connected to the experience received in Ferrara, where some of the works by this Flemish painter were kept.
Compared to the youthful frescoes of the Ovetari Chapel in Padua, the Adoration of the Shepherds represents a moment of stylistic evolution and enrichment of Mantegna's figurative culture.
The colours become more resolute and bright, as can be seen on the characters clothes and in the landscape details, mainly in the orange tree on the foreground to the left. The bichrome phase, still seen in the Ovetari and harshly criticized by his master Francesco Squarcione, is now superseded.
Andrea's particular search for the pathos, typical from his early years, is evident in his persistence on details of the ordinary shepherds, in the expression of the whole, and in the incisive traits of the faces.
The awareness of the works of Piero della Francesca is revealed mainly in the landscape. By organising it better, he recaptured the composition already exploited with San Girolamo in the church of St. Paul.
The elements in the landscape are recaptured by Mantegna later on, for example the typical conic shaped rocks of the background will be found in his successive works. 

A. Cocchi

Trad.: A. Sturmer

 


 

Bibliography

Lionello Puppi Cianfrusaglie reperti e un talent scout in: Il Romanzo della pittura. Masaccio e Piero. Supplemento al n° 29 de "la Repubblica" del 2.11.1988
Claudia Cleri Via Mantegna. Art eDossier n.55. Giunti, Firenze. 1991
La Nuova Enciclopedia dell'Arte Garzanti.
AA.VV. Moduli di Arte. Dal Rinascimento maturo al rococò. Electa-Bruno Mondadori, Roma 2000
A. Blunt Le teorie artistiche in Italia dal Rinascimento al Manierismo. Piccola Biblioteca Einaudi, Giulio Einaudi Editore, Torino 1966
G. Cricco, F. Di Teodoro, Itinerario nell’arte, vol. 2, Zanichelli Bologna 2004
G. Dorfles, S. Buganza, J. Stoppa Storia dell'arte. Vol II Dal Quattrocento al Settecento. Istituto Italiano Edizioni Atlas, Bergamo 2008

 

Tags:Mantegna, adoration of the Shepherds, painting, Renaissance, Christmas, Flemish painting, .

Stile:Quattrocento.

Per saperne di più sulla città di: New York

 



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Andrea Mantegna. Adoration of the Shepherds. 1450-1451 Tempera on wood transfered on canvas. 40 55,6 cm. Detail. New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art


Andrea Mantegna. Adoration of the Shepherds. 1450-1451 Tempera on wood transfered on canvas. 40 55,6 cm. New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art


Andrea Mantegna. Adoration of the Shepherds. Detail of the Shepherds. 1450-1451 Tempera on wood transfered on canvas. 40 55,6 cm. New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art


Andrea Mantegna. Adoration of the Shepherds. Detail of St. Joseph. 1450-1451 Tempera on wood transfered on canvas. 40 55,6 cm. New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art


Andrea Mantegna. Adoration of the Shepherds. Detail of Landscape. 1450-1451 Tempera on wood transfered on canvas. 40 55,6 cm. New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art

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