Shepherds Purse: sculpture - Pistoia "Nativity"

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The artistic styles of Italy tend to be relatively distinct from those of France and Germany in the 14-15th century period when I am searching for examples of my artifact. Some of these differences no doubt reflect actual local differences in the style of clothing, etc., but there are also differences in approaches to artistic representation. At a much earlier date than other regions, Italian art begins to interpret religious scenes in fanciful Classically-inspired draperies, and thus become significantly less useful for researching actual everyday material culture. This tendency can be seen in the above Nativity scene -- the shepherds depicted at the right edge of the scene have more "normal" looking clothing than the main figures, but doubt is raised as to how far removed they may be from actual shepherds of the time. One of the shepherds wears a relatively bulky sash-belt that may be being used as a pouch to carry objects, but this is not at all clear.


Eimerl, Sarel. 1967. The World of Giotto c.1267-1337. Time-Life Books, New York. p.48

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