Adoration of the Magi

size(cm): 75x70
Sale price£360 GBP


The Adoration of the Magi is considered Gentile da Fabriano's masterpiece. The painting shows the journey of the magi to Bethlehem recounted in the Gospel of Matthew. The painting uses a continuous narrative to show us the moment the wise men first see the star announcing the birth of Jesus, followed by their journey to Jerusalem and then their arrival in Bethlehem, where they meet the baby Jesus.

Three golden arches (which are part of the elaborate frame) differentiate the three narrative moments of the work, although the final moment, when the magi arrive at the cave of Bethlehem where Mary, Joseph and Jesus rest, takes over the foreground.

Here the wise men take turns kneeling before Jesus and presenting him with gifts (of gold, frankincense, and myrrh). In Gentile's painting, the older magician (eventually known as Melchior) is kissing Jesus' foot, while the Christian messiah (Jesus) touches his head. The other two wizards (Middle-aged Gaspar and Young Balthazar) prepare to do the same, holding their gifts aloft. The three magi are elaborately dressed and each has a golden crown.

The Adoration of the Magi altarpiece depicts various gospel stories surrounding the birth of Christ as they were told in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. For example, in the main panel, three wise men (wise men and kings believed to come from unknown eastern lands) offer gifts to the newborn baby Jesus. Their adventure begins in the background: smaller scenes of the Wizards fill an extraordinary landscape in the three arches above, allowing us to follow their journey in one continuous, cartoon-like narrative.

On the far left, they climb a mountain in search of the star they believed would fulfill an ancient prophecy about a great king. Following this star, the wise men lead their impressive retinue to Jerusalem, shown in the upper center of the painting (see image above), and then to the smaller city of Bethlehem in the upper right corner.

The main action of the panel then takes place in the foreground, where the Magi finally reach the small cave where Joseph and Mary have been forced to take refuge with their newborn son. Halo and resplendent, each king took turns offering a gift of gold, frankincense, or myrrh, removing his crown, and kissing the little baby's foot.

As in the previous images, they are accompanied by a large number of courtiers and assistants on horseback as if they were emissaries from a foreign country. More than previous artists, Gentile da Fabriano used the Magi's Journey as an opportunity to display his visual imagination and technical skill. The "kings" don't wear ancient clothing, as one might expect from a biblical story, but rather imaginative costumes designed to appear luxurious and vaguely exotic.

The royal entourage is packed with various types of figures, intricately patterned brocades, and rare animals. The figures in the foreground are almost stacked on top of each other, as if the ground is tilted forward to fill a limited space with a maximum number of figures. This decorative opulence continues in the ornate framework of three arches.

The painting has been in the Uffizi Gallery since 1919 and was restored in 2004.

Due to the amount of detail, this work of art is a very difficult painting to make, so the cost of a Kuadros replica is subject to availability and the time of select artists.

Kuadros, a famous painting on his wall.

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