“The Adoration of the Shepherds,” El Greco – overview of the painting

“The Adoration of the Shepherds,” El Greco – overview of the painting
“The Adoration of the Shepherds,” El Greco - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by El Greco
  • Museum: Prado Museum
  • Year: 1612-1613

Overview of the painting :

The worship of the shepherds is El Greco. 1612-1613. Oil on canvas. 319 x 180 cm.

   The painting “The Wolves Worship” was written specifically for the altar of the church in Toledo. El Greco chose a famous religious plot – the shepherds came to the cave to bow to the newborn Christ. Many painters both before and after resorted to this topic, but only the great Spaniard got a very mysterious, magical embodiment of the gospel text.

   An elongated, disproportionate figure, a complex composition of the composition are complemented by a magical play of light. The painter always experimented with color and light, but it was the work presented, one of the last in the artist’s biography, that shows the highest skill of plot development through masterfully placed accents with light spots.

   Magic light tears out two groups from the dark space of the cave: in the lower part there are people – a baby with Virgin Mary and shepherds, and in the upper half we see cherubim and angels who testify to the high divine destiny of the newborn. El Greco emphasizes the same idea in color, making the image of Christ the brightest bright spot.

   Looking at Jesus, the viewer suddenly realizes that it is from the manger that this magical light comes, which is enough for the lighting of the cave and all the characters. There is no doubt that El Greco was a deeply religious person! You can notice how the faces of the fallen over Christ are mournful – they know what is destined for him by fate: it is painful to perish in the name of the Salvation of mankind.

   Information was kept that one of the students, El Greco, claimed that the master depicted himself on the canvas, in the face of a shepherd in red robes, standing on his lap.

   Deep shadows lying on the walls, bright light, dark background – all this erases the differences between the earthly and heavenly world, turning the biblical scene into a kind of vision, a sacred dream.