The Adoration of the Magi

Artist: Workshop of Gerard David (Netherlandish, Oudewater ca. 1455–1523 Bruges)

Date: ca. 1520

Medium: Oil on wood

Dimensions: Overall 27 3/4 x 28 7/8 in. (70.5 x 73.3 cm); painted surface 27 1/2 x 28 3/8 in. (69.2 x 72.1 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection, 1982

Accession Number: 1982.60.17


First established in Bruges, Gerard David also joined the painter’s guild in Antwerp in 1515, where his compositions and motifs soon began to circulate. This excellently preserved panel is strongly indebted to David’s work. The extravagantly dressed onlookers, however, are a pure invention of Antwerp art, as is the landscape view with travelers carrying goods for trade. Due to Antwerp’s status as the mercantile center for northern Europe, scenes of the Adoration of the Magi were particularly popular in the city. They served not only a devotional use, but could also be associated with the travel of foreign goods.