Christmas Exhibition: Mostaert & Steen from the Rijksmuseum
- Dates: December 10, 1962 through January 6, 1963
- Collections: European Art
December 9, 1962: This year’s Christmas masterwork, which will go on view tomorrow in the Main Hall of The Brooklyn Museum, is Jan Mostaert's “The Adoration of the Magi” graciously lent by the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, one of Europe’s great museums. This exceptional loan continues the custom established last year with the showing of the Rubens-Brueghel “The Virgin, the Infant Jesus and an Angel in the Center of a Wreath of Flowers” from the Louvre, of presenting a painting on a Christmas theme never before seen in this country.
Jan Mostaert, who was born and worked in Haarlem, was one of the last painters to follow the great Flemish tradition of the 15th century - a tradition emphasizing the detailed rendering of every element of a picture. In this painting, executed about 1520, the features of the Virgin and Magi, the rich clothes of the foreigners, the goldsmith work of the vessels containing their presents are painted with almost microscopic exactness.
“The Adoration of the Magi” depicts the three kings, Balthasar, Melchior and Caspar, bringing presents of gold, myrrh and incense, a motif derived by early Christian artists from late antique sculpture in which barbarians offer their submission to the ruler.
The Christmas Painting will remain on view at The Brooklyn Museum from December 10 to January 6.
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1953 - 1970. 1962, 075. View Original