Adoration of the Magi
Giovanni Paolo Panini
On View: Screens facing Great Hall
Pendants presented an ideal narrative device for representations of the Adoration of the Shepherds and the Adoration of the Magi. Painters delighted in juxtaposing the humble shepherds, modestly clad in simple woolens, with the worldly kings, wearing silken fineries and bearing extravagant gifts. Despite these disparities, the pilgrims are united in their reverence before the newborn Christ.
Panini invokes a long-standing tradition by placing the manger among classical ruins, signifying the end of paganism and the birth of a new religion. A specialist in fantasy landscapes dotted with vestiges of antiquity, Panini concentrates on architectural details—the decrepitude of the monument and the simple sturdiness of the manger—while his figures’ gestures of dignified veneration lead the eye to the Madonna and Child.
Oil on canvas
39 x 29 in. (99.1 x 73.7 cm)
Frame: 47 x 37 in. (119.4 x 94 cm) (show scale)
Gift of Mrs. Thomas F. Walsh
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Giovanni Paolo Panini (Italian, 1691-1765). Adoration of the Magi, ca. 1755. Oil on canvas, 39 x 29 in. (99.1 x 73.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Thomas F. Walsh, 55.19 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 55.19_SL1.jpg)
overall, 55.19_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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