Hugo van der Goes ca. 1440 – 1482

The Adoration of the Shepherds

oil on panel (253 × 304 cm) — 1476-1478 Museum Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Hugo van der Goes biography

This work is linked to Luke 2:16

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Between 1476 and 1478 Hugo van der Goes made a huge altarpiece in commission for the Italian banker Tommasso Portinari. Portinari lived in Bruges where he represented the Medici family bank. The altarpiece was made for a church in Florence.

The central panel shows the Adoration of the Shepherds. The wings show the donors and their patron saints. The members of the Portinari family are all smaller than the saints, in order to indicate their relative importance.

To the left saints Anthony and Thomas (with spear), Tommasso and his sons Antonio and Pigello.

To the right saints Margareth and Mary Magdalena (with ointment jar), Maria Portinari and her daughter Margarita.

Portinari altarpiece

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