Italian Paintings – The Holy Night

This is one of the twelve great pictures and many prefer it to any picture in Europe. It is the most famous of all Correggio’s works. The child is receiving the homage of the shepherds, who have hastened to the spot upon hearing the glad tidings. It is night, and the scene is only rendered visible by a super-natural light which radiates from the babe. It illumines the face of the Blessed Mother and falls with dazzling splendor on the shepherds, whose features betray their amazement. It lights up the angels hovering in the air, who seem, as Vasari expresses it, “To have descended from heaven, and not created by the hand of man.” The tenderness in the expression of the Virgin as she bends over her babe and the beauty of the child are wonder-fully portrayed.