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The Adoration of the Shepherds: C.208-1991

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


The Adoration of the Shepherds


Painter: Unknown (Probably)
Engraver: Caraglio, Giovanni Giacomo (After)
Painter: Parmigianino (Francesco Mazzola) (After)




Renaissance maiolica panel, painted in poychrome with The Adoration of the Shepherds.

Panel. Earthenware, tin-glazed on both sides. Painted in blue, green, yellow, orange, brown, manganese-purple, black, and a little white.
The infant Christ lies on a mound in the middle, supported by St Anne (?). The Virgin kneels to the right of him and Joseph sits beside a tall rock and a tree. To the left, one shepherd kneels with a hound and three stand beside him adoring the Child. Behind the group there is a bearded man, two oxen and a ruined arch. Two more standing shepherds and one seated playing a pipe to his sheep are in the landscape background.


History note: Dr Alfred Pringsheim; Sotheby's, 19 July 1939, Catalogue of the renowned collection of Italian majolica, the property of Dr Alfred Pringsheim of Munich, lot 288; H.S. Reitlinger (d.1950); the Reitlinger Trust, Maidenhead, from which transferred in 1991.

Legal notes

H.S. Reitlinger Bequest, 1950

Measurements and weight

Depth: 1.0 cm
Length: 25.8 cm
Width: 21.8 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Urbino ⪼ The Marches ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1950) by Reitlinger, Henry Scipio


16th Century
Circa 1535 CE - 1540 CE


The grouping of the shepherds and the position of the baby Christ suggests that the painter was familiar with The Adoration of the Shepherds, engraved by G.G. Caraglio after Parmigianino.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colours ( blue, green, yellow, orange, brown, manganese-purple, black, and a little white)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Tin-glazing : Earthenware, tin-glazed on both sides. Painted in blue, green, yellow, orange, brown, manganese-purple, black, and a little white.

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: oval with gold border

  • Text: 114
  • Location: On back
  • Method of creation: Inscribed in pencil
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.208-1991
Primary reference Number: 73085
Packing number: EURCER 881
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 25 February 2020 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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: 2024-06-20 23:12:10

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{{cite web|url= |title=The Adoration of the Shepherds |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-20 23:12:10|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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