Bernardino di Mariotto dello Stagno, Adoration of the Magi, end 15th cent. – first half 16th cent., tempera on poplar, Vatican Art Gallery © Musei Vaticani
This scene depicting the Adoration of the Magi is reduced to its primary participants: the Virgin holding the Child Jesus and the Magi. The event takes place outside, with a hill and the sea in the background. The three magi represent life’s three ages. The oldest kneels before the Child who holds his gift, according to an iconography in use since the 12th century. The three wise men have neither crowns nor halos, and are dressed according to the fashion of the day. They likely depict the men who commissioned the painting.
(Pope Benedict XVI – Christmas 2011 – Mass at Night)
Under the direction of Paolo Ondarza
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