The Adoration of the Shepherds


Paolo de Matteis ( Italian, 1662 - 1728 )

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General Description

The complex composition and numerous figures of The Adoration of Shepherds demonstrate Paolo de Matteis's skill in mastering large, crowded scenes. This one was probably painted for a church or a chapel. Matteis's fame grew in Naples under the patronage of the Viceroy of Naples, and his reputation later spread all over Europe. Invited to Paris, he stayed there for three years before going to Rome and then returning to Naples. During all these years, he received commissions from all over Europe, from England to France, from Prince Eugene of Savoy to the Emperor of Austria. He was among the first artists to blend the traditional baroque elements of drama and complexity with a more tender and graceful art. This painting, along with a group of Renaissance and baroque paintings that came to the Museum from the Karl and Esther Hoblitzelle Collection, hung for almost half a century in the palace of the Torre Tagle family in Lima, Peru.

Excerpt from

Heather MacDonald, DMA label copy, 2010.

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