LOMBARD ARTIST FROM THE SECOND HALF OF THE 16TH CENTURY
Adoration of the Magi
oil on panel, cm. 103.5×77
The holy event takes place outdoors, near a dilapidated building covered by moss and climbing plants; a peacock, painted with amazing naturalism, emerges from is dark interior. The Magi have arrived, laden with gifts, and the Holy Family receives them with blessings, while two angels above, highlighted by white clouds, indicate the comet which has guided the Kings from the Orient. While the most striking feature of the work is the misty atmosphere and the Leonardesque features of the Child, and in particular of the Madonna whose face reminds of the gentle creations of Bernardino Luini (1480-1532) in paintings like the Madonna with Child among the Saints Catherine and Barbara in Budapest (Museum of Fine Arts) – also the pose of the infant Christ in the latter painting is comparable to this work – some details reveal this painting to be more recent: the changing colors of the fabrics, the pose of and the angle of the palfrenier in the background, the vertical composition, all indicate that this work was painted in Lombardy in the years after the middle of the Sixteenth century. As Mina Gregori points out, in the years of the Counter-Reformation and of San Carlo Borromeo, the importance of Luini to Lombard artists, as source of inspiration and model, was comparable to that of artistic personalities as Michelangelo in Florence or Raphael in Rome.