• Adoration of the Magi

    Artist:
    Veronese, Paolo (Paolo Caliari). 1528-1588
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    45x34,5 cm

Veronese, Paolo (Paolo Caliari). 1528-1588

Adoration of the Magi

Italy, 1570s

Titian’s younger contemporary, Paolo Veronese, was a native of Verona. In his youth he moved to Venice and became one of the brilliant stars of the local school of painting. Many of his works, secular in spirit, bright and festive, still adorn the palaces and churches of the city in the lagoon. We can get an idea of them from the small painting of the Adoration of the Magi that was most probably a modello, a small-scale composition showing what a planned monumental work would look like. In contrast to a sketch, a modello was a fully finished work of art. Rejecting a centralized arrangement, the artist placed the Virgin and Child in the left-hand part of the painting. But the general direction of the movement of all the personages as well as the cold blue colour of Mary’s cloak immediately direct the viewer’s attention to the Madonna and Jesus. The scene of adoration takes place in a setting of picturesque ancient ruins. The slender Corinthian columns, cloudy sky and green branches of the trees create a sort of grand backdrop for a foreground filled with the figures of people and animals. The exotic camels and their driver in a white turban are intended as a reminder that the action takes place in the Orient. The magi and their followers are marked by fabulous splendour. It has been suggested that in the guise of St Joseph raising the gauzy covering from Christ’s head, Veronese depicted himself.

School:

Title:

Adoration of the Magi

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

45x34,5 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1772; acquired from the collection of L.A. Crozat, Baron de Thiers, in Paris

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-159

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