Martin Art Gallery

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Shepherds

Shepherds Albrecht Durer
(German, 1471-1528)
The Adoration of the Shepherds,
circa 1503
Wood engraving

 


In a composition which establishes the central role of the Virgin Mary and Christ child, Albrecht Durer depicts the touching scene when the shepherds of the fields came to pay homage to the newly born Messiah. Durer, nicknamed the German Leonardo, constructs a scene that contains both the earthly and heavenly realms. His composition and technical mastery of the wood engraving force the viewer to concentrate on the three major figures in the foreground: the baby Jesus, Virgin Mary and Joseph. While the shepherds and angels enter the scene, Durer creates a beautiful symphony of various textures in the print evident through studying the masonry and wooden forms of the barn structure.

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