Skip to main content
The Adoration of the Shepherds
Guido Reni
/

The Adoration of the Shepherds is a late altarpiece by Guido Reni. Nearly five metres high without its frame, it is one of the largest paintings in the National Gallery’s collection.

In a stable in Bethlehem, a group of shepherds gather around the newborn Christ. Reni has staged a night-time scene, using the darkness to full effect by surrounding the Christ Child with an otherworldly glow that illuminates the faces of those around him; they gaze upon his manger with awe and devotion. Celestial light seems to spill from the heavens through a gap in the clouds, and a group of joyful putti carry a scroll that reads: GLORIA IN ECCELSIS DEO (‘Glory to God in the highest’).

This work was completed in Reni’s final years and was owned by Prince Karl Eusebius von Liechtenstein (1611–1684), who may have commissioned it or acquired it from Reni’s studio following the dispersal of its contents after the artist’s death.

Key facts
Artist Guido Reni
Artist dates 1575 - 1642
Full title The Adoration of the Shepherds
Date made about 1640
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 480 x 321 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1957
Inventory number NG6270
Location in Gallery Room 31
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

License this image

License and download a high resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo