Leandro Bassano

The Adoration of the Shepherds (after Jacopo Bassano) (1580 - 1600)

About this artwork

This drawing is loose copy of the bottom portion of an altarpiece by Leandro’s father Jacopo Bassano. Jacopo had painted The Adoration of the Shepherds in 1568 for the church of San Giuseppe in his native town of Bassano del Grappa (it is now in the Museo Civico there). The picture quickly became one of Jacopo’s most celebrated works and was widely copied. This drawing would have been used in Jacopo’s workshop by assistants who were frequently set the task of making painted reproductions of celebrated original works by the master. Compositions were often recorded in drawings as a memory aid, and there are other existing examples of Leandro and his brothers making copies after finished paintings.

Leandro Bassano

Leandro Bassano

Leandro was the son of the painter Jacopo Bassano and was active in his father’s workshop from a young age. When his elder brother Francesco left for Venice in 1578, Leandro became his father’s principal assistant. Leandro painted with fine, smoothly applied brushstrokes, which differed from his father’s more vigorous technique. It is more difficult to distinguish Leandro’s work from that of the other artists in his father’s workshop, largely because of their continual close collaboration. In 1588 Leandro followed his brother to Venice, where he enjoyed a successful career as a painter of portraits and large history paintings. Upon his father’s death in 1592, Leandro inherited the family workshop.