The Adoration of the Shepherds
after Sir Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen 1577 - Antwerp 1640)
The model for this painting is an engraving by Lucas Vorsterman (1595 - 1675) after Rubens printed and published in Antwerp in 1620 (BM R, 3.39) which is in reverse to the original painting for Les Capucins d’Aix-la Chapelle in Aachen of 1615-20 and now in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen (803.6). The Saltram copy has been variously attributed to the Florentine painter Carlo Dolci - when it was probably bought by the young artist Joshua Reynolds for John Parker (1703-1768) of Saltram in Rome in 1750/1 - and Rubens’ pupil Jacob Jordaens. It is a full nocturne (night scene) and omits the spectacular spider web present in the painting and the print. It has been suggested that Vorsterman was, in fact, copying a sketch (now lost) for the final picture.
Oil painting on canvas, The Adoration of the Shepherds, after Sir Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen 1577 – Antwerp 1640), circa 1620. The Holy Family at the left, with putti in the clouds above. The shepherds approach from the right. In the foreground a kneeling peasant girl offers the child an egg. A copy after an engraving by Lucas Vorsterman probably from a lost modello for Rubens's altarpiece originally painted for the Capuchin Church in Aachen, and now in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Rouen, 1620.
Presumably one of the pictures that, according to the 1819 Catalogue, were acquired in Rome in 1750/51 for the first John Parker by (Sir) Joshua Reynolds (1723 - 1792) (although no evidence) and thence by descent; given to the National Trust as part of the endowment by Montagu Brownlow Parker, 5th Earl of Morley (1878-1962)
Saltram, The Morley Collection (National Trust)
Marks and inscriptions
Verso: An old label on the back of the frame describes SAL.P.39 as: Pittura dell Nativitate Christ e Adorazzione...dapinto par Carlo Dolci.. pallazzio di Cardinal Quirini a Roma
Makers and roles
after Sir Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen 1577 - Antwerp 1640), artist previously catalogued as manner of Jacob Jordaens (Antwerp 1593 – Antwerp 1678), artist previously catalogued as attributed to Carlo Dolci (Florence 1616 – Florence 1686), artist
Rubens e l'incisione nelle collezioni del Gabinetto Nazionale delle Stampe, Villa della Farnesina, Rome 1977, no. 125 Le siècle de Rubens dans les collections publiques françaises, Grand Palais, Paris 1977-78, no.124 Rooses 1892 Max Rooses, L'Oeuvre de P. P. Rubens, Antwerp, 1886 & 1892 , vol. V ,pp.148-49 & repr.p.382).