The Adoration of the Magi (L'adoration des mages)
Complementing the narrative of the venerations by the humble shepherds, the Magi, guided by a moving star, traveled separately from their individual lands in the east in search of the newborn Jesus. Tissot depicts the Magi at the moment when their retinues meet in the vast, arid landscape of the volcanic hills on the shores of the Dead Sea between Jericho, the Kedron Valley, and Jerusalem. In his commentary, the artist notes that their flowing saffron robes—a luxurious counterpoint to the simple woolens of the shepherds— signal their status as astronomers.
Typically described as wise men and kings, the Magi present the Christ Child with gold, frankincense, and myrrh. In the series of watercolors, the Magi’s visit to the grotto inexplicably appears after the presentation in the Temple, representing one of the curious inconsistencies in Tissot’s construction of his Gospel harmony.
This text refers to these objects: ' 00.159.30; 00.159.32
- Portfolio/Series: The Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ (La Vie de Notre-Seigneur Jésus-Christ)
- Artist: James Tissot, French, 1836-1902
- Medium: Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
- Place Made: France
- Dates: 1886-1894
- Dimensions: Image: 9 15/16 x 8 1/8 in. (25.2 x 20.6 cm) Sheet: 9 15/16 x 8 1/8 in. (25.2 x 20.6 cm) Frame: 15 x 20 x 1 1/2 in. (38.1 x 50.8 x 3.8 cm) (show scale)
- Signature: Signed bottom left: "J.J. Tissot'
- Collections:European Art
- Museum Location: This item is not on view
- Accession Number: 00.159.32
- Credit Line: Purchased by public subscription
- Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
- Caption: James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). The Adoration of the Magi (L'adoration des mages), 1886-1894. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Image: 9 15/16 x 8 1/8 in. (25.2 x 20.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.32
- Record Completeness: Best (84%)