Adoration of the Shepherds

Caravaggio, Adoration of the Shepherds, 1609. Oil on canvas, Messina at the Museo Regionale.

A year before he died Caravaggio painted this Adoration for the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Messina. Caravaggio never failed to give his clients something unexpected and wonderful. Here is Mary, exhausted from giving birth, barefoot and sitting on the ground. No angels surround her, no halo and no divine light. The Franciscan Friars who commissioned this painting believed that Christ was born for the poor. Caravaggio captures their faith in this image that is so different from most Renaissance paintings of Mary that tend to display majesty and divinity if not actual wealth.

Caravaggio, Adoration of the Shepherds, 1609.

Characteristic of a deity (a god or goddess).

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