Tintoreto. Worship of the Shepherds. (1579-81). Mannerism.
Scenes of Worship of the Magi and the Shepherds, who allowed the painters to make appear contemporary characters were common in the art of the Rebirth. The Mannerists them also will make a principal topic of it their religious paintings. Their motivation is especially aesthetic, the scene allows, like here, a harmonious, very luminous composition balanced and almost symmetrical.
The higher part of the barn is separated from the lower part.
The Holy Family, in top, is seen of in bottom.
The Shepherds and the animals, bellow, are seen of face.
The 4 groups of characters are positioned in a symmetrical way to the intersection of the tension fields, on the points of natural interests of the picture.
The painting is divided into 4 symmetrical parts. Each zone corresponds to a group of character.
Tintoreto uses the 2 large diagonals to build its painting.
It is the rising diagonal which dominates by the position of the Holy Family and the gesture of offering of the shepherd in bottom in their direction.
Picture rests also on many horizontal hot lines which express a feeling of peace, of calms and a great serenity.
The scene is held under the glance of the angels located in top of picture.
The face of Marie is carried out with much precision and smoothness, behind this one a great aureole crowns the mother of Christ.
The cow, the sheep and the ass are animals very much used in the paintings of worship being located in the cattle sheds. It is not the case of the cock. The hand which indicates it leaves can be to suppose that it gripped the object of a forthcoming meal.
Light : The source of the intense light is left side behind the tended arms of the shepherds. This underlines the gestures of offering. It is probably about an opening towards outside. The intensity and the quality of the luminosity make think of a sunrise what is in good harmony with the general topic of work.
Colors : A harmony of analogy between very hot colors.