The Le Nain Brothers, French, fl. 17th century
Title: The Adoration of the Shepherds
Date: 1644
Medium: Oil on canvas
59 x 67 cm
Signed: lower centre: Lenain. f 1644
Credit Line: Purchased, 1961 (Shaw Fund)
Object Number: NGI.1645
ProvenanceDr. Mary collection; purchased, Heim Gallery, Paris, 1961
Exhibition HistoryLe Nain, Petit Palais, Paris, 1934

Louis XIV, Paris, 1960

Centenary Exhibition, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, October - December 1964

Master European Paintings from the National Gallery of Ireland, Art Institute of Chicago, 6 June 1992 - 9 August 1992; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 19 September 1992 - 6 December 1992; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 13 January 1993 - 28 March 1993; IBM Gallery, New York, 27 April 1993 - 26 June 1993

Imagining the Divine: The Holy Family in Art, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, 26 November 2012 - 01 April 2013
Label TextThe Le Nain Brothers (Antoine, Louis, amd Mathieu) were born in Laon. By 1629 they had moved to Paris, where they shared a studio. They signed their works ‘Le Nain’. Known for their sympathetic portrayal of peasants, their subject matter and style had more in common with Dutch art than that of seventeenth-century France. This scene depicts shepherds visiting the Holy Family in Bethlehem, as described in the Gospel of St Luke. Architectural ruins form a backdrop to frame the foreground figures. The colouring is restrained and the mood is one of quiet reflection.