UNKNOWN MASTER, Bohemian
(active around 1430 in Vyssi Brod)

The Nativity (detail)

c. 1430
Tempera on pine panel
Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest

The two shepherds appear to be the most life-like, notwithstanding the measured calm of gestures and carriage. In the representation of the Holy Family the master's hands were forcibly held down by the works of the preceding generation as well as by the forms and iconographic traditions they had established. In the treatment of this less important detail the painter could rely more freely on his own observations. Even in the modern sense of the term, the attitudes of the sheep are verisimilar; though few in number, the animals in the picture create the impression of a whole flock.




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