The Adoration of the Magi

Hieronymus Bosch Netherlandish

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 605

This tranquil scene, with its tunneling perspective and sensitively rendered faces, is characteristic of Bosch’s works before he made his more famous scenes of hell. The stagelike setting, with a curtain held aloft by angels, may indicate the influence of religious plays performed in Bosch’s hometown of ’s Hertogenbosch. By the late fifteenth century, the three Magi were clearly differentiated to represent their varied regional origins. The Black king is prominently featured and elaborately attired, with a crowned, feathered fez and gold collar and belt with hanging Turkish curved sword and jeweled hand shield.

The Adoration of the Magi, Hieronymus Bosch (Netherlandish, ’s Hertogenbosch ca. 1450–1516 ’s Hertogenbosch), Oil and gold on oak

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