In this scene, the heavens seem to open to the shepherds in the field. The Angel Gabriel appears at the center, and hundreds of angels appear in the cloud above him. Seven shepherd figures can be seen in the scene. Here, they have been composed with their backs to the viewer. Two on the left are clutching one another, and another to their left dramatically shields his eyes. A figure on the right bows and another raises his hands, as if clapping. In the two earlier examples we see flocks of sheep in the scene, but here the artist has placed a single lamb in the image, along with a less prominently featured ox. The lamb is a frequently used symbol of Christ. Is it used here to show the viewer that the figures are meant to be herders of sheep, or was it meant to convey a deeper meaning?
Artwork in the public domain