The Adoration Of The Magi One Piece Of Art Work,

1726 words - 7 pages

The Adoration of the Magi One piece of art work, that I found to be beautiful was Bernard Van Orley's painting entitled, The Adoration of the Magi, from around the time of 1515. It contains a charming portrayal of Mary holding the baby Jesus, surrounded by the wise men and a crowd of people. The painting has a very peaceful setting, which adds to the wonderful feeling that portrayed though this it. This work of art immediately struck me as being both a magnificent and appealing painting.Many people are familiar with the story of the Nativity scene where the Magi were led to Christ by the guiding angel. In Orley's painting, The Adoration of the Magi the nativity scene is the setting that is being presented to us. Mary sits with the baby Jesus naked on her lap. There is a group of people including the Magi, gathered around her and Christ, but they do not appear to me paying attention to her. The three Magi are usually known as Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar (Mannerings 44). Although the group of people and the Magi are facing the same direction as Mary, they are not interested her, they are admiring Jesus. Mary is simply the throne of the divine son. She is not participating in any interaction with the crowd or the kings; she is just looking down at her child. The relationship between the Magi and the blessed Child seems to be incredibly significant. It consists of genuine expressions of tenderness and exchanged looks. The three kings are facing the baby Jesus, adoring him. Magus presents him with a gift, kneels before him, and is kissing his feet. The kneeling action that is shown is thought of as an expression of piety and adoration. As Magus kisses his feet, Christ reaches his hands out, and places them upon Magus's head. This appears to be the act of Christ blessing him, as if in absolution.By tradition, the gifts that the three kings brought are the vessels in which the gold, frankincense, and myrrh are offered. They can be shown in various liturgical vessels, but here we see them in three identical chalice like objects. The gift of the kneeling Magus is usually seen either held by Joseph, by a servant, or laid on the ground in front of the Child, which is what we see here.In this painting the right side of the closest building forms a perfectly straight line that appears to be nearly the dead center of the picture. This line draws attention to Mary and the child who are centered in the piece of work, this emphasizes that these two figures have importance. The lines that are used help describe the shape and the space of the painting in a consistent and orderly way. The lines of the painting seem to pile up on one another, creating a kind of physical density and depth. As the lengths of the vertical lines become shorter, we see a great sense of depth. The buildings become smaller as they move back, and the main focus continues to be the commotion that is occurring in the front area of this painting.This painting invokes the illusion of three...

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