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  • image SG106

The Adoration of the shepherds, stained glass panel, after Hans von Aachen, probably German, c.1600

Clear glass with brown paint

Height: 237mm
Width: 198mm

Museum number: SG106

Curatorial note

Mary sits in the centre of the manger, her arms spread wide to hold the ends of the cloth on which the Infant Jesus lies, looking upward. Behind her two shepherds enter with an ass and a cow, while three angels, two with outstretched wings, stand to the right. There an old shepherd kneels, his hat and stick on the ground. On the left a shepherd with a crook bows low. In the front there is a partial view of two women conversing, one wearing an elaborate coiffure with a bun and long plaits. The setting is a pillared hall. Rays pour through a cloud onto the scene.

The panel is after Hans von Aachen in an engraving by Aegidius Sadeler of 1588. The print is inscribed Ioan von Ach: Inue:/ G: Sadl:sc:/ 1588. The upper part of the roundel omits the angels flying in the cloud, and the fluted columns are rendered instead as plain pilasters. The print is probably related to an altarpiece painted for a chapel in the Church of the Gesu in Rome. Popham suggested a date of c.1580.

The German model for this composition and its execution in monochrome may indicate a German provenance.


A. E. Popham’s comments are MS notes in pencil held at Sir John Soane’s Museum, c.1930
F. W. H. Hollstein, Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts ca. 1450-1700. Amsterdam: Rijksmusem, 1949– 1980, XXII, A. Sadeler 32
The New Hollstein, Dutch and Flemish Etchings Engravings and Woodcuts 1450-1700. Rotterdam: Sound and Vision Publishers, 1993– Aachen 1996
Catalogue of the Stained Glass in Sir John Soane's Museum, Special Issue of the Journal of Stained Glass 2004, p. 239

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk