VERNET, Claude-Joseph
(b. 1714, Avignon, d. 1789, Paris)

Shepherd in the Alps

Oil on canvas
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Tours

The symbolism of Christ and Christians as shepherd and sheep is founded on the parables of Luke (15:3-7) and John (10:1-18). Its translation into visual terms is largely confined to early Christian art. It is rarely encountered in painting after the Middle Ages. The shepherd became element of pastoral scenes.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 13 minutes):
Franz Schubert: Der Hirt auf dem Felsen (The Shepherd on the Rock) D 965