The Adoration of the Magi

Rubens was a 16th to 17th-century Flemish painter. He settled in Antwerp, where he set up his workshop. He later moved to Italy, where he spent several years perfecting his craft. As a diplomat, he travelled to Madrid, where he met and became friends with Velazquez. He recommended that the Spaniard go toItaly, and Velazquez followed his advice, travelling there on two occasions.

Complex, ample compositions were a feature of this Baroque painter’s work. He too, lived in a grand style, in luxury, and surrounded by many brilliant collaborators. The Prado contains many of his works as a result of the family ties between the governors of the Netherlands and the Spanish Crown at the time.

The Adoration of the Magi is a large painting with a colourful composition, full of figures. On the left, sheltered by a column and overwhelmed by the crowd, are St. Joseph, the Virgin Mary and the Infant Jesus, who is putting his hand into King Gaspar’s goblet to play with the coins in it. In the centre of the picture we can see King Melchior, wearing a large red tunic, and on his left stands King Balthazar, with a magnificent blue mantle. They are all accompanied by young pages. In the foreground, one’s eyes are also drawn to the half-naked slaves, weighed down by heavy gifts. Horses, camels and a large number of people complete the scene. On the right-hand side, above the young man, you can see a self-portrait of Rubens on horseback. He didn’t want to miss out on the Adoration!

(c) (R) 2013, MUSMon com S.L.
Text (a) Catalina Serrano Romero
English translation (a) Thisbe Burns