The Adoration of the Kings

Art to delight the eyes.

Andrea Mantegna, c1460, Venice.

Stanisław Durink, c1480, Poland. The head and the body of the kneeling king appear naturalistic to me, but I don’t think he has quite got the way the head should sit on the neck right, or the roof supports. I love the faces, though. The kneeling man on the left seems more real than the others. Perhaps it is a portrait, of someone paying to be shown as a Wise Man seeing Christ, who looks out to catch our eye.

The Master of the Virgin among Virgins. This is a “Notname”, where the artist of several pictures is known by one of them. They were craftsmen, not honoured by remembering their names. Delft, 1490. It is customary to paint the building as a ruin, as Christ will make all things new, and the old world passes away.

The Master of the Antwerp Adoration, which is a different adoration to this one from c1510.

The Master of Hoogstraeten, early 16th century. Mists make the mountains in the distance blue, though the change in colour seems too sudden, to me.

Francesco Bassano the Younger, Venice, c1568. They seem tired, at the end of a hard journey:

A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.’

Raphael, 1502, when he was 19.

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