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Champaigne’s depiction of 'The Adoration of the Shepherds' closely follows Saint Luke’s Gospel (II, 8ff.). The scene is set in a cave, which serves as a stable. The Christ Child, in swaddling clothes, provides the main source of light. The shepherds’ gift of a bound lamb foreshadows Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross and the group of three cherubs may refer to the Trinity. The painting bears a strong stylistic affinity to Rubens’s works on the same theme and was probably commissioned in the mid-1640s for the Abbey of Notre Dame de Quincy, near Tanlay, in France. The patron has been traditionally identified as Cardinal Richelieu, but it was probably commissioned by the abbot of Notre Dame de Quincy at the time, Mathieu de Mesgrigny, who rebuilt the nave of the abbey church in 1635–1636.

The Wallace Collection

London


Date

17th C

Medium

oil on canvas

Measurements

H 235.5 x W 161.5 cm

Accession number

P129

Acquisition method

acquired by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford, 1849; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897

Work type

Painting


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The Wallace Collection

Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, Greater London W1U 3BN England

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