Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn 1606 – 1669

The Adoration of the Shepherds (1646 [2])

oil on canvas (65 × 55 cm) — 1646 Museum The National Gallery, London

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn biography

This work is linked to Luke 2:16

This work is based on the version Rembrandt painted earlier in 1646 for stadtholder Frederik Hendrik of the Dutch Republic.

Two shepherds kneel in front of the newborn child. Note that the light coming from the child is much stronger than the light from the lamp.

The use of the light gives the scene a great sense of intimacy. The quick, rough brushstrokes, the chatting bystanders and the kid playing with the dog make the atmosphere domestic and informal.

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