Adoration of the Magi

Sandro Botticelli (Italian, c. 1445-1510) – Adoration of the Magi, c. 1475-76 (Tempera on panel, Uffizi, Florence) – More Medici, including Lorenzo and Giuliano, Botticelli’s patrons – appear in varying states of worship before the newborn Christ. The scene is anything but hallowed and hushed. The Medici are not all intent on the baby, whose miraculous birth has taken place in a derelict outhouse of yawning rafters on the brink of collapse. But Botticelli raises the holy family above these queuing Italians and finds a way to bring the ancient past into the present. He shifts the tense by including himself, on the extreme right, fixing you with a pressuring gaze – how deep is your respect, your love?



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