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Nativity of Christ (Night) by the Correggio

It is one of the most famous paintings of the painter Antonio Allegri called the Correggio (1489-1534), originally kept inside Reggio Emilia-based San Prospero Church.


It is kept in the Dresden-based Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister.

Historical notes

The Nativity (also known as The Holy Night or Adoration of the Shepherds) is a painting finished in about 1529-1530 by the Italian painter Antonio from Correggio. The work, commissioned by Alberto Patroneri in October 1522 for the family chapel in the Reggio Emilia-based San Prospero Church, is considered one of the masterpieces of the painter's artistic production.

The figure of the Child is the luminous fulcrum of the entire composition, and the light, reflecting weaker on the surrounding figures, is the absolute protagonist of the scene. Many painters, both Italian and foreign, went to Reggio Emilia to admire it: the Night was seen by Velázquez, who had to buy it for the King of Spain, and by the Flemish painter Rubens who, guest of the Gonzaga family, went to Reggio Emilia to admire the painting and draw inspiration for "his" Adoration of the Shepherds commissioned by Father Flaminio Ricci for the Fermo-based San Filippo Neri Church.

Although the painting is now kept in the Dresden-based Gemäldegalerie, it is still possible to admire two details related to our town:

  • inside the San Prospero Church the copy of Boulanger has still the Correggio's original frame.
  • inside the painting itself it is possible to can recognize the profile of the well-known hills of the Enza River Valley.

Adorazione dei Pastori Basilica di San Prospero