Adoration of the Magi by Spranger

Adoration of the Magi by Spranger
Adoration of the Magi by Spranger

This oil painting is part of the collection of paintings by Flemish artists at the National Gallery in London, as it is a work by the artistBartholomeus Spranger, born in Antwerp in 1546 and died in 1611.

The painting of the Adoration of the Magi was carried out around the year 1595, although we are dealing with a creator who shows his origins, the truth is that his art It is also the result of an intense life path that took him far from his homeland, so it has a more cosmopolitan character.


Adoration of the Magi by Spranger

In fact, ascribing his work to Mannerism, since he stayed between 1565 and 1575 in Italy, and there he met the work of the great masters who developed that style such as Bronzino, Parmigianino or Correggio, whom he admired enormously.

But after that Italian sojourn he traveled toVienna, where he was appointed court painter to theAustrian Emperor Rudolf II. And when the capital of the empire moved to Prague, he obviously went there too.

In that court he did many jobs. Among other things he ordered the imperial collections and was tremendously influential in decorative matters. In addition, he made many paintings of an erotic nature for the emperor, to which he was so fond.Rudolf II.

However, in this case he commissioned a religious-themed work from her as he intended to give it to thePrince-Bishop of Bamberg

As we said, his art is very cosmopolitan and has various influences, but there are always elements that recall his Flemish origins. And in this fabric we can verify it. For example, the shepherds that are seen, immediately evoke this type of character from northern Europe, as well as the details that can be seen in the goldsmith gifts that the Three Wise Men carry must be framed within the taste for the meticulous that has always been had the flemish art and artists like Pieter Brueghel or Jan Gossaert.

However, these are still elements to add to the general tone of the fabric. We are before a scene of monumental character, without a doubt much to the taste of Italian mannerist art. A very bombastic atmosphere that has little to do with the story of the New Testament, but must be understood in the courtly, imperial and palatial context in which the work was created.

An environment that was very much to the artist's liking and with which he felt fully identified and satisfied his longing for prominence. Proof of this is that it is assumed that he portrayed himself in this work, because it is thought that he gave his face to the red-haired king. While his signature is also typical of a person with a lot of ego, since at the feet of the black king you can see his complicated signature and the information that he was born in Antwerp and is a painter of the Holy Majesty of him the Emperor

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