From: Florence, Italy
This artwork is a triptych commissioned for a church hospital by a banker. The panel itself is very rich in symbolism as well as extreme detail. The Flemish work depicts the adoration of the shepherds. Jesus lays on the ground near many symbolic items. Among these items are wheat, grapes, red Lily White Irises, purple irises, glass vessel, and violets. All of these have symbolic value. The grapes represent the Eucharist, the Red Lilies represent the Blood of Christ, the White Irises represent purity, with the purple Irises representing Christs royal ancestry, the glass vessel represents Mary, wheat represents Bethlehem, the house of bread and host and Communion. Finally the violets represent humility. The painting is very realistic, a defining trait of the northern renaissance art.
Why This Artwork?
This work was chosen to show the deep symbolism of the time period as well as the realism and the relation to Italian Renaissance art.