of the Arts-The Catholic Church: The Adoration of The Shepherds
of the Shepherds
estofado, and painted wood
197 x 105 x 15 cm
sculpture portrays important images from the Catholic Church.
It is carved in wood with the features and details shown in paint.
wood carving would have been used as an altar piece
in the Catholic Church and was probably paired with
another relief of the wedding of Mary and Joseph to
make a large presentation.
was carved on a large panel of wood. It shows the figure
of Mary in the center with the baby Jesus and around
her are Joseph and the shepherds under a canopylike
curtain. Angels fly overhead. There are eight figures
in this shallow carved piece plus doves and cattle and
sheep making a very full composition and suggesting
considerable depth. Paint has been applied to the wood
to show the details of clothing and features.
Catholic Religion was brought to Mexico by the Spaniards
when they conquered the country. While wood carving
was an art that was a part of the native culture it
is put to work here in this piece in the service of
the Catholic Church.
Print out a copy of this piece (black and white copy
is fine) and draw a grid to divide it into twenty equal
sized squares. Number the squares from 1-20. Make a
chart in which you describe what appears in each square.
What percentage of the squares show people? What percentage
show animals, etc?
Language Arts: Write an essay about someone who
means a great deal to you. Describe this person's physical
appearance and all the personal qualities of this person
that you admire.
Social Studies: Research the changing religious
history of Mexico. What type of religion existed before
the Spanish came to the country. How did it vary within
the country? How did this change after the Spanish invaded?
Science: Determine which types of trees grow in
the climate and location where this work of art was
produced. Research to determine what type of tree the
wood used in this work came from.