The Adoration of the Shepherds
27.6 cm x 36.6 cm (10 7/8 in. x 14 7/16 in.)
(Munich, 1564 - 1625, Augsburg)
Medium and Support:
Oil on copper
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Archer M. Huntington Museum Fund, 1985
Through his collaborations with the landscape painters Paul Brill and Jan Brueghel, Rottenhammer became a master of Flemish Feinmalerei––“fine painting”––with its intricate compositions, exquisite detail, and high finish, often on supports of copper. Later, during an extended period in Venice (1595-1605), he absorbed more monumental, Italian modes of composition, somewhat tempered his palette, and relaxed his paint handling. At the same time, his own works enjoyed great popularity and introduced the technique of painting on copper to Venice. This small work is representative of Rottenhammer’s preferred technique and technical accomplishment. With its more broadly organized composition and more regular, classically inclined figure types, it is also characteristic in style of the Venetian period.