Collection: Adoration of the Shepherds with St. Catherine of Alexandria

ARTIST: Museum Religious Art Classics


Artist: Cigoli – c. 1599

Cigoli, a painter of considerable intellectual accomplishment and a friend of the great scientist and astronomer Galileo, was the key artist in Florence in the late sixteenth century. This altarpiece was painted at the height of Cigoli’s career and introduced to Florentine painting a new emotional warmth and emphasis on color, based on the work of of Barocci and Titian.

Some of the details are taken directly from nature, such as the still life around the Christ Child and the rustic figures at the right. Cigoli’s work blends the study of nature with the work of the High Renaissance artists.

On the bottom left is St. Anthony Abbot with his tau-topped staff. Above him, St. Catherine, with spiked wheel, crown, and palm branch. The Latin on the scroll held by the angels means "Glory to God in the highest," from the angels' announcement to the shepherds (Luke 2:14).