Christmas: From our Christian Masterpiece Collection #CN16cw, Charles Le Brun’s, The Adoration of the Shepherds. Painted in 1689, the original oil on canvas is currently displayed at The Louvre Museum, a central landmark of Paris, France. The Nativity has been a popular subject of Christian art since the 4th century and its artistic depictions of the birth of Jesus are based on the Gospels of Matthew and Luke: An angel appeared to shepherds on a hillside telling them that the “Savior, Christ the Lord” was born. The shepherds went to the stable and found the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in the feed trough or manger. The actual Adoration of the Shepherds is often combined with the Adoration of the Magi in a single Nativity scene, despite their occurring separately of each other…Charles Le Brun (1619-1690), a French painter and art theorist, became the all-powerful, peerless master of 17th century French art. Le Brun primarily worked for King Louis XIV, for whom he executed large battle and altarpieces. His most important paintings and gigantic labors are exhibited at Versailles and the Louvre. The number of his works for religious corporations and private patrons is enormous. Le Brun was also a fine portraitist and an excellent draughtsman, despite not being fond of either feeling landscapes and such were no more than a mere exercise in developing an artist’s technical prowess. What mattered to Le Brun was scholarly composition whose ultimate goal was to nourish the spirit.