(b. ca. 1454, Perugia, d. 1513, Siena)

The Adoration of the Shepherds

Collegiata di Santa Maria Maggiore, Spello

The Adoration of the Shepherds on the end wall of the chapel presents idyllic scenery within a vast landscape and incorporates various secondary motifs. In the middle distance we see the annunciation to the shepherds, as a cluster of angels on a bank of cloud in front of the templelike stable sings of the birth of Christ. Of the many figures gathered in the foreground event of the adoration, the three shepherds stand out as being much too large, and with their crude, almost grimacing faces they are unlike anything else in Pinturicchio's repertoire of figures. They were inspired by the Portinari Altarpiece by Hugo van der Goes. The Portinari Altarpiece and other imported works by Flemish masters had introduced the new style in Italy, however, no other Italian painter of his generation adopted its compositional principles so completely as did Pinturicchio.