The Adoration of the Shepherds: A Night Piece

A work made of etching, drypoint, and burin in black on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of etching, drypoint, and burin in black on ivory laid paper.

Date:

c. 1657

Artist:

Rembrandt van Rijn
Dutch, 1606-1669

About this artwork

Rembrandt was printing mezzotint-like prints before the medium existed. Ludwig von Siegen’s invention of mezzotint engraving may even owe something to his encounter with Rembrandt’s prints during a pivotal 1642 visit to Amsterdam. Several of Rembrandt’s works dating from the 1650s—when few were familiar with the mezzotint process—were traditionally called “dark manner” or “night pieces.” In this unusually nocturnal Adoration, tardy shepherds arouse the Holy Family. The mezzotint process was an important part of Rembrandt’s career: copies of Rembrandt’s prints were made entirely in mezzotint, occasionally his drypoint lines were refreshed using mezzotint effects, and some of his plates were finished posthumously by other hands using the method.

Currently Off View

Prints and Drawings

Artist

Rembrandt van Rijn

Title

The Adoration of the Shepherds: A Night Piece

Origin

Holland

Date

1652–1662

Medium

Etching, drypoint, and burin in black on ivory laid paper

Dimensions

152 x 198 mm (image/sheet, cut within plate mark)

Credit Line

Clarence Buckingham Collection

Reference Number

1938.1735

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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