c. 1575; Oil on canvas; Museo Civico, Bassano del Grappa
An extraordinary burst of light bounces off the characters, casting silky reflections on the robes and making the gold glimmer. The painter produced this masterpiece when he was well into his middle age. It gives us tremendous insight into his enormously innovative power which fell between popular realism and magical effects. It is astounding to think Jacopo Bassano was able to produce paintings of this stature when he was so removed from the major centres of art.