Adoration of the Magi


Adoration of the Magi
   The magi were three kings who followed the star of Bethlehem that led them to the newborn Christ for whom they brought the gifts of frankincense, myrrh, and gold. In the Church calendar, this event, the Feast of the Epiphany, is celebrated each year on 6 January. Images of the Adoration of the Magi have a long history that dates back to the Early Christian era when these men were depicted in Roman catacombs as Mithraic astrologers. In the medieval period, they came to represent the three known continents of Asia, Africa, and Europe, hence their depiction as ethnic figures from each one of these areas. For artists of the Renaissance, the depiction of the Adoration of the Magi presented an opportunity to demonstrate their skill in rendering crowded scenes in a coherent manner. Gentile da Fabriano's rendition (1423; Florence, Uffizi) is a courtly scene of the International Style. Benozzo Gozzoli's (c. 1549; Florence, Palazzo Medici-Riccardi) and Sandro Botticelli's (early 1470s; Florence, Uffizi) make sociopolitical statements relating to the Medici, while Leonardo da Vinci's rendition (1481; Florence, Uffizi) captures the frenzy of the magi as they try to get close to the newborn Christ Child.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

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  • Adoration of the Magi (Andrea della Robbia) — This depiction of the Adoration of the Magi is by Florentine sculptor Andrea della Robbia (1435–1525). Andrea inherited the family workshop from his famous uncle, Luca della Robbia, who had developed the technique of applying tin glazes, similar… …   Wikipedia

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