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Gum tempera and gold on paper
Sheet: 26.2 x 15.6 cm (10 5/16 x 6 1/8 in.); Image: 20 x 11.2 cm (7 7/8 x 4 7/16 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 2005.145.30.a
Without reading the text, it would be difficult to identify the adorers in Portuguese dress. They are the shepherds who have come to worship the newborn Christ child, held out for viewing by Mary, depicted in relatively large scale. Mary and Jesus stand in a fenced enclosure, evocative of a sacred space within a rather sumptuous setting with pseudo-Renaissance Ionic columns and heavy red draperies. The finishing details on this painting, such as two of the shepherds’ feet, the tile patterning, and probably arabesques, have notbeen completed. The two books are often included in Mughal representations of Christians, indicatingthat they, like Muslims, are also people of the book.
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