MONTAÑÉS, Juan Martínez
(b. 1568, Alcala la Real, d. 1649, Sevilla)
The Adoration of the Shepherds1609-13
San Isidoro del Campo, Santiponce
A Baroque element gradually made its appearance in the style of Montañés, and his most beautiful works are those executed in his youth. They are also more clearly stamped with his individuality, for, as time went on, his success obliged him to make use of assistans. The Santiponce Altarpiece is his masterpiece. He signed the contract for it in 1609 and completed it in 1613. In it, carvings of different saints and various scenes from the Gospel are grouped around a statue of St. Jerome. The Adoration of the Shepherds is one of the most beautiful of his classicizing compositions, with its angels and shepherds fervently gathering around the figure of Jesus in a deep silence inspired by the mystery of the divine Infant.