Artistic skill Barocci inherited from his father – a sculptor, an uncle – an architect and great-grandfather – a famous Milan sculptor. Barocci was formed in the Roman circle of the followers of Raphael, is a painter of the late Mannerist era.
“Christmas” stands in a row of remarkable paintings by Barocci on a religious plot. The master attaches to church painting the immediacy of the emotional impact. In the background of the canvas, Saint Joseph opens the door to the shepherds, but this detail only emphasizes the closeness of the Mother of God and the baby to the viewer.
The image of Mary is pretty and graceful, her face, enveloped in a peculiar haze of chiaroscuro, appears to be a puppet. The pillow and bright veil, the pink and saffron clothes of the Virgin shine in a light that does not come from outside, but from the infant of Christ. With an effective cold color range and black and white contrasts, the master demonstrates his unique style, anticipating proto-baroque trends.