CHAMPAIGNE, Philippe de
(b. 1602, Bruxelles, d. 1674, Paris)
Adoration of the Shepherdsc. 1630
Oil on canvas, 236 x 162 cm
Wallace Collection, London
The official paintings of Champaigne's early period show him as an artist still involved in the hieratic style imposed by the tradition of this type of composition, but in his religious paintings he gives freer play to his skill depicting individual types, many of which defy the canons of classical beauty. The present Adoration of the Shepherds shows him in this mood. The handling and the lighting have been learnt from the early Rubens, and even the colour and the composition are derived from him, but they have been transformed in the borrowing.