Adoration of the Magi

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Giotto, Adoration of the Magi, 1305

Complimented by a background of Giotto blue, Adoration of the Magi depicts the presentation of the Son of God to the three wise men. Even though he's the smallest figure, the eyes of surrounding important (haloed) characters, including the angel on Mary’s left, draw the eye to the swaddled newborn and his mother.

Above Joseph, the star followed by the three magi plummets in the direction of Jesus and his mother, ultimately leading the wise men to their destination. Madonna, shown in a faded blue gown, showcases Giotto’s early mastery of depth by drapery, an artistic element made known and popular by Giotto.

Sent by King Harrod, the three wise men find the infant Jesus and present him with gifts, as told in Matthew 2:11, 

“And when they were come into the house, they
saw the young child with Mary his mother, and
fell down, and worshipped him and when
they had opened their treasures, they presented
unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.”

On a rock beneath the infant Jesus sits a crown that will be placed on the head of the King of Man when he becomes able. Even without it, his halo still exists, indicative of his early regality and the anticipation of his soon-to-be followers. Even in his infancy, Jesus earns the Adoration of the Magi.

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