Mary is holding the sleeping Jesus in her arms, showing him to the shepherds. The painter has zoomed in, giving us the feeling that we are in the front row, in the best spot to see the child. And the reflections in the shiny brass jug.
The painting has elements of the style of Caravaggio, who was known for his strong lighting effects and raw naturalism. However, the Flemish artist Jordaens never went to Italy. He was introduced to Caravaggism through other painters, such as Rubens.
Prince Lichnowsky, Kuchelna, Silesia, before 1905; Paul Cassirer Gallery, Berlin and Amsterdam, 1927-1928; A.N.F. Rhodius, Bennebroek; F.R.H. Rhodius, Heemstede, 1953; purchased with the support of the Friends of the Mauritshuis Foundation, 1959
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