The following post on Giorgione's "Adoration of the Shepherds" is the eighth most popular post on Giorgione et al... since its inception in 2010. It originally appeared on December 15, 2015.
|Giorgione: Adoration of the Shepherds (Allendale Adoration)|
National Gallery, Washington
96.8cm x 110.5 cm, 35.7" x 43.5"
Scholars have expended more time dealing with the controversy that has surrounded the attribution to Giorgione of the so-called “Allendale Adoration of the Shepherds” than they have in trying to understand what is actually going on in the painting. Here I would like to deal with the subject and meaning of this famous Nativity scene that is now in Washington’s National Gallery.
|Hugo van der Goes: Portinari Altarpiece|
Finally, art historian Mario Lucco has suggested that the long hair of the one indicates a Venetian patrician in shepherd’s clothing.* That may be so but I like to think Giorgione indicated that the Savior, whether present on the ground before the shepherds as a newborn King, or on the altar at Mass, is accessible to all. This King is not protected by armed guards. There is no need to bribe or otherwise court influence with bureaucrats acting as intermediaries. Anyone, even the simplest and the humblest, can approach this King directly and in his or her own fashion.