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The Adoration of the Shepherds: P.15003-R

Object information

Current Location: In storage


The Adoration of the Shepherds
Houghton Gallery


Printmaker: Green, Valentine
Publisher: Boydell, John
Draughtsman: Farington, George (After)
Painter: Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban (After)




After the painting (same direction) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-1682), (between 1646 and 1650, The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, entered the Hermitage in 1779; acquired from the R. Walpole collection, Houghton Hall, England, ??-316). Mary at centre left opens the swaddling cloth to display the sleeping Christ child in the manger, bright white light emanating from the child. A bearded shepherd kneels at lower right, his hands held aloft in a gesture of awe, a lamb laid on the ground in front of him. An old woman, Mary's midwife, stands to his right, a shepherd boy behind her, another tall, bearded shepherd stands behind Mary at the centre of the composition and a fourth shepherd enters the stable carrying a crook at the far right. Oxen occupy the space at the far left.


History note: The '5' inscribed on the recto at lower left relates to a handwritten Museum register of loose Kerrich prints where this print is listed as no. 5 ('after Murillo by Val. Green 'The Adoration of the shepherds' / Houghton Coll [mezzot.]) in the Kerrich 'Portfolio marked Py'. An encircled 'K' in the FM annotated Nagler refers to this Kerrich print.

Legal notes

Bequeathed by the Rev. R. E. Kerrich, 1872 (received 1873)

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1873) by Kerrich, Richard Edward


18th Century#
Production date: 1775-11-01 AD 1775


Mezzotint, printed in black ink. Second, full-lettered state after title and publication details. Lettered with artists' names in the margin at lower left: 'Morellio Pinxit. / G. Farington delint.' and lower right: 'Val. Green Engraver / to his Majesty fecit.'. Publisher's details and title engraved to either side of the Earl of Orford's arms: 'John Boydell excudit 1775' / [in closed roman capitals] 'THE ADORATION OF THE SHEPHERDS. / [in engraved italics] In the Salon at Houghton / Size of the picture 4f, 9 1/2i by 11f 4 3/4i in height ... Published Nov.r 1st 1775 by John Boydell Engraver in Cheapside London.' Inscribed in graphite (curatorial hand) in the margin at lower centre: 'Kerrich' and '5'. Inscribed in graphite on the secondary support at lower centre: 'Kerrich' and '488' and at lower right: 'Val. Green'. An impression of the first state before title is in the first of the two Boydell Houghton volumes bequeathed in 1816 by Lord Fitzwilliam; 'A Set of Prints Engraved after the Most Capital Paintings in the Collection of Her Imperial Majesty the Empress of Russia, Lately in the Possession of the Earl of Orford at Houghton in Norfolk, Volume 1'. See, 31.K.7-23.

School or Style


Techniques used in production


Identification numbers

Accession number: P.15003-R
Primary reference Number: 240050
Whitman (Green): 191.II
Nagler (Künstler-Lexicon): 5.2 (p.347)
Chaloner Smith: undescribed
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Thursday 9 January 2020 Updated: Wednesday 11 January 2023 Last processed: Thursday 7 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Paintings, Drawings and Prints

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "The Adoration of the Shepherds" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-18 17:32:33

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{{cite web|url= |title=The Adoration of the Shepherds |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-18 17:32:33|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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