Adoration of the Child by the Shepherds.
 Ghirlandaio, Domenico, 1449-1494

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Title:Adoration of the Child by the Shepherds
Notes:“A brochure distributed today by the contemporary Vallombrosans in Santa Trinita contains the words, ‘The Church of Santa Trinita has for nine hundred years been officiated by Vallombrosan Benedictine monks; they invite the visitor to admire the works of art found inside,but above all to perceive the spiritual values of silence, contemplative prayer and interior joy.’ These words are a reminder that the vast majority of the art produced during the Renaissance and Baroque periods was intended as spiritual aids for the meditation and contemplation of believers on various aspects of the life of Christ and his followers. Ghirlandaio’s Adoration of the Shepherds, like the Gospel of Luke before it, makes the bold move of placing Christianity on the larger political landscape. And like the Third Gospel before him, Ghirlandaio makes the audacious claim that the transition of world dominance from the Romans to Christianity is to be found, not in Constantine’s conversion or his mighty Christian army, but rather in the birth of a child who is first adored by lowly shepherds, not cosmopolitan magi. Further, no sooner has the child been born than the audience is asked to reflect on Christ’s death already foreshadowed in the symbols surrounding his birth (a sarcophagus, a goldfinch, a lamb, a wheat sheaf) and to contemplate the social and political implications which an embrace of this child and his good news must surely entail.” (Hornik, 115)
Artist:Ghirlandaio, Domenico, 1449-1494
Building:Santa Trinita, Florence

Scripture:Luke 2:(1-7), 8-20
Lectionary links:ANatv
General Subject:Adoration of the Shepherds
Adoration of the Child (Mary)
ICONCLASS Number:73B25

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Attribution:Ghirlandaio, Domenico, 1449-1494. Adoration of the Child by the Shepherds, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved May 28, 2024]. Original source:
Record Number:49130 Last Updated: 2021-09-18 18:32:59 Record Created: 2007-01-25 00:00:00
Institution:Vanderbilt University Collection: Art in the Christian Tradition

Bibliographic Source:Illuminating Luke:The infancy narrative in Italian Renaissance painting
Author:Hornik, Heidi J. and Mideal Carl Parsons