HONTHORST, Gerrit van
(b. 1590, Utrecht, d. 1656, Utrecht)

Adoration of the Child

c. 1620
Oil on canvas, 96 x 131 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Honthorst was celebrated for his night scenes. A joyous sweetness suffuses this Nativity, presented in intimate close-up. As tradition decreed, Joseph is a shadowy figure in the background, the white linen foretells the shroud of the crucified Christ, and the straw beneath the babe presages the Eucharist.