Home Open Arts Object: Ercole de’ Roberti, Este Diptych (The Adoration of the Shepherds and The Dead Christ), c. 1490, National Gallery, London

Open Arts Object: Ercole de’ Roberti, Este Diptych (The Adoration of the Shepherds and The Dead Christ), c. 1490, National Gallery, London

In this short film Dr Leah Clark examines a small devotional image belonging to Duchess Eleonora D’Aragona of Ferrara from the fifteenth century. Once covered in velvet with clasps to close it, the painting is examined as a luxury object in the art collections of Eleonora d’Aragona but also as a devotional work. The painting drew on contemporary religious practices in Ferrara and Eleonora’s close ties with the Corpus Domini convent. Painted by the court painter Ercole de’ Roberti it is also discussed in terms of its complex composition, which spoke to humanist and religious practices at the court of Ferrara. Although very small, the painting inspired copies by artists in the Renaissance as well as today, including Michael Landy.

Related resources:

Teaching support sheet

Student handout

Author: 
Leah Clark