Adoration of the Magi (c. 1478-1482) by Sandro Botticelli

Adoration of the Magi - Sandro Botticelli - 1482

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Artwork Information

TitleAdoration of the Magi
ArtistSandro Botticelli
MediumTempera on Panel
Dimensions111 x 134 cm
Art MovementEarly Renaissance
Current LocationNational Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

About Adoration of the Magi

The artwork “Adoration of the Magi” by the Italian artist Sandro Botticelli, created in 1482, is a religious painting exemplifying the Early Renaissance art movement. Executed in tempera on panel, it measures 111 by 134 centimeters and can be viewed at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

The composition depicts a biblical scene of the three Magi, or Wise Men, visiting the infant Jesus Christ who is seated on the Virgin Mary’s lap. They are shown presenting their gifts in an act of homage. Set within a semi-ruined classical building that opens up to a pastoral landscape, the complex arrangement includes a host of characters. In the foreground, several figures kneel in worship, while their vibrant garments cascade in rich folds, showcasing Botticelli’s mastery of color and fabric. To the right, the procession of the Magi’s entourage extends into the background, adding depth and narrative to the scene. The delicate handling of light and atmosphere, as well as the harmonious integration of figures within the architectural setting, highlight Botticelli’s technical skill and his contribution to the development of space and narrative in painting. This artwork serves as both a devotional image and a demonstration of the splendors of the Early Renaissance style.

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