Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Adoration of the Magi

The Adoration of the Magi
Jheronimus Bosch ca. 1450 – 1516
oil on panel (138 × 144 cm) — 1485-1500
Matthew 2:11 - And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.
The three Kings in the foreground all have their traditional characteristics: the black Caspar is depicted with incense, the middle-aged Melchior with gold, and old Balthazar with myrrh.

Remarkable about this depiction of the story of the three wise men is the added figure of a man who, with his company, seems to be hiding in the barn. He is half-naked, has a wounded leg and wears a strange hat made of twigs. He probably personifies evil; waiting to strike now the Savior has been born.

The city in the background is Bethlehem.

The kneeling figures on the outer panels are most likely the pair who commissioned the triptych. St Peter and St Agnes (Inez) accompany them. In the left panel Joseph can be seen heating diapers by a fire.

On the reverse sides of the outer panels St Gregory's Mass is depicted. It is a medieval subject: Christ appears to the praying pope Gregory I (c. 540-604) to take away his doubt.
>>>> Donor portrait

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