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image SG72

The Adoration of the shepherds, stained glass panel, After Cornelis Cort and Taddeo Zuccaro, Netherlandish/German?, c.1570

Clear glass with brown paint

Height: 242mm
Width: 179mm

Museum number: SG72

Curatorial note

The manger is in an arched building with a window to the rear opening to fields on the right. The Christ Child lies in straw surrounded by the kneeling figures of Mary and the shepherds. An angel on a cloud floats above and two silhouetted figures peer at the scene through the window.

The panel is primarily based on an engraving by Cornelis Cort dated 'C. Cort fe. 1567' However, the glass painter has considerably re-ordered the composition and introduced additional elements. The scene is reversed except for the infant Jesus in the manger. The figure of Mary has been brought to the front right of the composition and is seen in profile – possibly this figure has been borrowed from another composition. The three kneeling shepherds to the left of the panel are from the right of the print. The figures at the window and the angel in the cloud are reversed with respect to the print, while the shepherd holding a lamb behind Mary is from the left of the print. The glass painter has also added a man and oxen behind the manger and a hay-rack. The panel has been cropped to the left in comparison with the print. It is unusual for the glass painter to introduce so many changes in the design being copied and this suggests the preferences of a particular client. The similarities in the sombre paint colour and technique with SG73, which is a German panel after a Netherlandish source, suggest that this panel too may be German in origin.

Some copies of the engraving are also inscribed Tadeus Zuccarus Urbin Inventor – a reference to the original design by Taddeo Zuccaro (1529-66).


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– . Raphael Sadeler 133-144 and Jan Sadeler 423-436
The New Hollstein, Dutch and Flemish Etchings Engravings and Woodcuts 1450-1700. Rotterdam: Sound and Vision Publishers, 1993– XLIV, XLV 1034
Catalogue of the Stained Glass in Sir John Soane's Museum, Special Issue of the Journal of Stained Glass 2004, pp 200-201

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