Oil on canvas, 121cm by 158cm.
This painting was purchased by John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700), whilst on the Grand Tour, circa 1684.
It first appears in the 1763 Burghley Inventory: ‘The picture room…Adoration of the shepherds Carlo Loti,’ and is regarded as a masterpiece of the artist’s work.
Loth was born in Munich, but active for most of his life in Venice, where he specialised in history paintings based on religious and mythological stories.
He worked closely with Pietro Liberi (1605-1687), an artist with a colourful background whose work was also much favoured by the 5th Earl.