Pinacoteca di Brera Informazioni

Adoration of the Magi

Lorenzo Costa the Elder

The panel originally constituted the predella of Francesco Francia’s altarpiece dedicated to the Nativity of Christ and Saints, commissioned by Antonio Galeazzo Bentivoglio for the church of Santa Maria della Misericordia in Bologna. The altarpiece and predella arrived in Brera in 1809, while the finial with the Risen Christ between Our Lady of the Annunciation and the Angel, also by Costa, remained in its original location; the altarpiece was sent back to Bologna in 1816.

The work is characterized by a paratactic composition, in which the action is broken up into individual episodes of the story. These animate the procession of the Magi while the main event is pushed almost into the background, overwhelmed by the abundance of descriptive detail and the decorative exuberance of the drapery . It is possible to discern precise echoes of the Florentine painting of the late 15th century.

Download hi-res image TITLE Adoration of the Magi
AUTHOR Lorenzo Costa the Elder
DATE 1499
OBJECT TYPE AND MATERIAL Oil on panel
DIMENSIONS cm 75 x 181.3
INVENTORY 354
ROOM XX
Work on display
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