• Adoration of the Magi

Adoration of the Magi

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Adoration of the Magi (Triptych of Jan Crabbe)
Artist: Hans Memling; Oil painting on panel; Size: 147x96.4 cm (central panel), 98.2x63.3 cm (left panel), 98x63.6 cm (right panel); Museo del Prado, Madrid.

The religion painting Adoration of the Magi was painted by Hans Memling around 1470-1472, represents the Adoration of the Magi, in the same architectural setting as the left-hand panel with the Nativity, while the panel on the right depicts the Presentation in the Temple. The arrangement of the figures is simple and clear. In the Adoration the Virgin is placed in front of a column that recalls her function as pillar of the Church. On the left we see the blue flag with gold stars of the European king, on the right the blue one with the crescent moon and star of the Oriental king and the white one of the African king, represented, unusual, as man of color: the kings symbolize the three known continents, as well as the three ages of man. The donors are probably portrayed in the Presentation inthe guise of the prophetess Anna and the young man on the right, perhaps related to each other and linked to Ter Duinen Abbey, one of the most powerful of the Cistercian Order. Its abbot was Jan Crabbe, a great patron of the sciences and arts and political adviser to Mary of Burgundy and Maximilian of Austria.

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