The Adoration of Shepards (With the Lamp)


Cincinnati Art Museum

Cincinnati Art Museum
Cincinnati, United States

In 1654 Rembrandt created six etchings that explore the childhood of Christ. This subject introduces an everyday reality into a pivotal biblical event. Centrally located, the Holy Family rests within a weathered stable, realistically common in its disarray, while shepherds approach the child with a sense of awe. Artificial illumination from an oil lamp on a bracket above the Virgin is superseded by a divine illumination. Look closely at Rembrandt’s skillful use of shading—which is darker around the perimeter of the work and lighter toward the center— to discover that the source of this light is actually the Madonna and Child, both radiating brilliantly with a divine glow.

Show lessRead more
  • Title: The Adoration of Shepards (With the Lamp)
  • Creator: Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (Dutch, b.1606, d.1669), printmaker
  • Physical Dimensions: plate mark 4 1/8 x 5 1/16 in. (10.5 x 12.9 cm.), on sheet 4 3/16 x 5 3/16in. (10.7 x 13.1 cm.)
  • Credit Line: Gift of Emily Poole
  • Accession Number: 1963.145
  • Type: Print
  • Medium: etching (first state)