(b. 1503, Firenze, d. 1572, Firenze)

Adoration of the Shepherds

Oil on wood, 65 x 47 cm
Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest

According to Vasari, this small devotional painting was commissioned by Filippo di Averardo Salviati (1513-1572). It was most likely destined for a private chapel in the Salviati villa.

This jewel-like painting displays the extreme refinement of execution and luxury of materials characteristic of Florentine Mannerism, with 'disegno' (drawing), sculptural modelling of forms, and enamel-like finish apparent in every detail. The entire upper half of the composition is a deep landscape of lakes and hills, above which stretches a vast blue sky that Bronzino painted in expensive lapis lazuli. To the right, an angel announcing the birth of Christ to a single shepherd hovers in the sky, and in the foreground five putti fly in celebration directly over the Nativity scene.