A Group of Shepherds, and Other Studies

Object Details

Title:

A Group of Shepherds, and Other Studies

Artist/Maker(s):

Agostino Carracci (Italian, 1557 - 1602)

Culture:

Italian

Place(s):

Italy (Place created)

Date:

about 1598 - 1600

Medium:

Pen and brown ink

Dimensions:

40.5 x 30.8 cm (15 15/16 x 12 1/8 in.)

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Shepherds and children paying homage to the Christ Child make up the central group of figures in this drawing. The shepherd on the left points in the direction of the Holy Family, not depicted on this sheet. He faces another shepherd, who gestures to a lamb with bound feet in the foreground. The lamb is a gift to Christ and may symbolize his future sacrifice. Other offerings include a basket of eggs and small birds held by children: humble yet symbolic counterparts to the opulent gifts brought by the three kings.

The upper right corner of the composition shows three unknown bearded men in profile, probably a study for a medal. Below and near the right margin is the head of a man with a wispy beard who may be the same person as the man shown on the left of the medal. Agostino Caracci's design for the Adoration of the Shepherds was used in a painting by his brother, Annibale Carracci. The painting is now lost, but a copy by Domenichino, Annibale's pupil, is in the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh.

Exhibitions
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (May 24 to August 8, 1993)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), May 24 to August 8, 1993, (Cat. 21)
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994, (Cat. 12)
Master Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998, (Cat.)
Two Centuries of Drawings from Bologna (December 15, 1998 to February 28, 1999)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 15, 1998 to February 28, 1999, (Cat.)
Mise-en-Page: The Art of Composing on Paper (December 17, 2002 to March 9, 2003)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 17, 2002 to March 9, 2003, (Cat.)
Visions of Grandeur: Drawing in the Baroque Age (June 1 to September 12, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 1 to September 12, 2004, (Cat.)
A Light Touch: Exploring Humor in Drawing (September 23 to December 7, 2008)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), September 23 to December 7, 2008, (Cat.)