Last Updated 21 Apr 2020

The title of the painting: Adoration of the Shepherds

Category Adoration, Painting
Words 535 (2 pages)
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The work is about the joyous celebration of the shepherds upon seeing Jesus, the hailed messiah. It was finished in 1672 by the Italian painter Baciccio. Italians are famous for their passion for painting, and for living their art.

This painting of his is approximately 10 11/16 x 8 3/8 inches in size. It is drawn using pen and brown ink, black chalk, washed with brown, and with white bodycolor. (

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Baciccio, whose real name is Giovanni Battista Gaulli and is also called Il Baciccio and Baciccia, was born in Genoa, Italy on the 8th of May 1639. After his parents died of a plague, he became an apprentice of Luciano Borzone and Gianlorenzo Bernini, two renowned painters of his time.

Baciccio also saw Correggio’s works, which influenced his illusionism and the gentleness of his pictures. He afterwards became very known for his vault wall painting in the Gesu church of Rome. (

The Adoration of the Shepherds can be considered a relief sculpture because it bears and combines essential symbols, and it depends on its surface. Here, Baciccio made very much use of the power of lighting and shadowing effects. In the drawing, the only source of light is exuding from the baby, illuminating the faces of the crowd around him and casting dark shadows of the shepherds.

This technique of creating pictures wherein light pierces darkness is dubbed as the Art of Nocturnal Light. In this art, the source of the light is something divine, artificial, natural, or has held figurative relations beyond its common role. The nocturnal light – which can be candlelight to add intimacy, fire to symbolize power, or moonlight for landscapes – is intended to enhance the drama of the spiritual sight. (

Baciccio also used free lines to give the picture a vibrant look, and to exalt the religious subject matter. It attracts viewers to witness the story of the appearance of angels to the shepherds to proclamation the good news of Christ’s birth to them, and the shepherds’ journey to Bethlehem to see the infant lying in a manger. (Luke 2:8-20, NKJV) In the scene, the shepherds look at Jesus at his birthplace in Bethlehem.

The birthplace is often in the form of a barn or manger. The angels are praising and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, goodwill to men!” This speech became the first lines of the Gloria, the doxology that is traditionally sang in Christian masses.

I would not prefer to include this work in my personal collection. The arrangement of the elements is somewhat in a mess. Looking at it, I did not know where to look at first. Some may have also experienced the same difficulty. Hence, peace and comfort is not extended to the viewer, and the viewer is not drawn into the picture.

Moreover, the scene is supposed to be joyous, but the picture depicts not one indicator of delight. Its lack of appeal and colorfulness does not invite spectators. One might see it, look at it shortly, and then continue on walking. Because of its monochrome, it might not even be noticed. If I were to put a work in my personal collection, I prefer something catchy, or colorful enough so as to be catchy.

The title of the painting: Adoration of the Shepherds essay

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