The Adoration of the Magi | MSK Gent
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The Adoration of the Magi, ca. 1520 - ca. 1540

  • oil paint, panel
  • 60.3 x 41.5 cm
  • Inv. 1912-H

Public Domain

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The Adoration of the Magi is ascribed to an anonymous master working in Antwerp in the early sixteenth century. His makeshift name, Pseudo-Blesius, comes from Henricus Blesius, with whom he was initially confused. The artist places the scene in a rugged landscape with a ruin in the foreground. A small circular relief above a window in the ruin portrays King David with his harp. As the ancestor of Jesus he represents the Old Testament, a period which came to an end with the birth of Christ. The ruin on which the new church is built represents the New Testament. The highly elongated figures and elaborate detail in the clothing, architecture and landscape are typical of Antwerp Mannerism. This late-gothic style was widespread in the Netherlands, Germany and northern France early in the sixteenth century. The work of two Dutch masters in this room, Cornelis Engebrechtsz. Van Leyden and Jacob Cornelisz. Van Oostzanen, is also closely linked to Antwerp Mannerism.


Pseudo-Blesius RKD
painters (artists)AAT

Title The Adoration of the Magi
Date ca. 1520 - ca. 1540
Period 16th century
Collection paintings AAT
Object type oil paintings (visual works) AAT
Inventory number 1912-H
Acquisition credit gift
The Friends of the Museum
Current whereabouts Work on display
IIIF Manifest
Art & Architecture Thesaurus 300055874 religious symbolism AAT
25H landscapes Iconclass
Keywords Iconclass 11F the Virgin Mary Iconclass
11F4 Madonna: i.e. Mary with the Christ-child Iconclass
11F4211 Mary sitting or enthroned, the Christ-child in front of her, standing in her lap (or in front of her bosom) Iconclass
11H(JOSEPH) the foster-father of Christ, Joseph of Nazareth, husband of Mary; possible attributes: flowering rod or wand, lily, carpenter's tools Iconclass
11Q71441 chalice Iconclass
25G1 plants (in general) Iconclass
25G11 groups of trees Iconclass
25G3 trees Iconclass
25H1 landscapes in the temperate zone Iconclass
25H113 (high) hill Iconclass
25I city-view, and landscape with man-made constructions Iconclass
25I12 prospect of city, town panorama, silhouette of city Iconclass
31A233 kneeling figure Iconclass
31A252 postures and gestures of arms and hands in relation to each other Iconclass
33A4 bringing gifts; exchanging gifts Iconclass
34B11 dog Iconclass
41A housing Iconclass
41A1 civic architecture; edifices; dwellings Iconclass
41A14 urban housing Iconclass
41A381 loggia, verandah, porch Iconclass
41A723 bench Iconclass
41C762 incense-burner ~ scents, perfumes Iconclass
41D221 head-gear Iconclass
41D221(CAP) head-gear: cap Iconclass
41D221(FLAT HEAD) head-gear (FLAT HEAD) Iconclass
41D221(HAT) head-gear: hat Iconclass
41D221(HEADSCARF) head-gear (HEADSCARF) Iconclass
41D2211 veil Iconclass
41D26511 gold-thread embroidery Iconclass
41D266 ornaments, jewels Iconclass
41D2665 brooch, agraffe, clasp Iconclass
41D2666 diadem, tiara Iconclass
41D267 purse, money-bag Iconclass
44A31 banner, standard (as symbol of the state, etc.) Iconclass
45B the soldier; the soldier's life Iconclass
45C11 casting weapons Iconclass
45C19(SHIELD) protective weapons: shield Iconclass
45C221 helmet Iconclass
46A1632 money-chest, treasure-chest, money-box Iconclass
46C131 riding a horse, ass, or mule; rider, horseman Iconclass
46C13142 ass, donkey Iconclass
47I21111 ox Iconclass
48A9872 ornament ~ grotesque Iconclass
48C145 architectural settings in paintings, sculptures, etc. Iconclass
48C149 ruin of a building ~ architecture Iconclass
48C16 architectural detail Iconclass
61E(BETHLEHEM) names of cities and villages (BETHLEHEM) Iconclass
73 New Testament Iconclass
73B2 adoration of the Christ-child ~ Christ's birth Iconclass
73B57 adoration of the kings: the Wise Men present their gifts to the Christ-child (gold, frankincense and myrrh) Iconclass
73B591 (later life of) Melchior, the bearded 'Asian' king Iconclass
73B592 (later life of) Caspar, the youthful 'European' king Iconclass
73B593 (later life of) Balthasar, the 'African' (negro) king Iconclass
School / Style Early Netherlandish AAT
Museum van Schoone Kunsten : Catalogus ; Oude Meesters, Schilderstukken, teekeningen, plaatsneden (met geschiedkundig overzicht) / Maurice Dupuis, Georges Charles Nicolas Marie Hulin de Loo, Fritz Van Loo. - Gent : Drukkerij F. De Vos, 1938 ; Gent : Stad Gent, 1938 (p. 23 ('Jan de Beer'))
Jan de Beer, De aanbidding der Koningen / A. Marchal. - [s.l.] : [s.n.], [s.a.] (p. 334, nr. 718)
Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent / Robert Hoozee. - Brussel : Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap, 1988 (p. 13 [J. de Beer])
Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent = Museum of Fine Arts Ghent / Claudie De Guillebon, Jacques Ostier, Robert Hoozee, Monique Tahon-Vanroose. - Parijs : Association des Amis de "Musées 2000", 1989 (p. 62 (ill. 101) [J. de Beer])
Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart / Ulrich Thieme, Felix Becker. - Leipzig : Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann, 1907-1950 (p. 237)
Oude Meesters uit het Museum voor schone Kunsten Gent in de crypte van de Sint-Baafskathedraal. - Gent : Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent, 2004 (s.p., cat. 25)
Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent : Catalogus schilderkunst ; Deel I: 14de - 18de eeuw ; Deel II: 19de - 20ste eeuw / Robert Hoozee, Johan De Smet, Bruno Fornari, Ruth Monteyne. - Gent : Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent, 2007 (dl. I, p. 138-139 (ill.))
Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent : De collectie (tentoonstelling vanaf 21 maart 2021) / Johan De Smet, Bart Ooghe, Frederica Van Dam, Lieven Van Den Abeele, Cathérine Verleysen. - Gent : Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent, 2021
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Gand : La Collection (exposition dès le 21 mars 2021) / Johan De Smet, Bart Ooghe, Frederica Van Dam, Lieven Van Den Abeele, Cathérine Verleysen. - Gand : Musée des Beaux-Arts de Gand, 2021
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